Facts About Heart Disease

Image courtesy of www.blackdoctor.org

"Many women believe that cancer is more of a threat, but they are wrong. Heart disease is not just a man’s disease. Heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases are devastating to women, too. In fact, coronary heart disease, which causes heart attacks, is the leading cause of death for American women (Illinois Department of Public Health, 2019)."

I was thinking about a friend of mine because I hadn't seen her much on social media as she usually was and I was told that her mom was sick so she couldn't attend an event we usually attend together. So I texted her to check on her and she told me she had been dealing with a lot because suddenly, her mom had been diagnosed with heart disease. Now, this is one of those diseases that I don't feel like is discussed enough in our African American community. So I told my friend that I would research the disease and post it on my blog to help educate other women who may be going through this as well, if you know of someone who is or to inform people on preventive ways to avoid going through this.

While doing my research, of course I studied this disease from a general standpoint across the United States and then specifically within African American women and here are my findings:

Heart Disease in the United States (CDC and American Heart Disease Association)

  • About 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year–that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.

  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. More than half of the deaths due to heart disease in 2009 were in men.

  • Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the most common type of heart disease, killing over 370,000 people annually.

  • Every year about 735,000 Americans have a heart attack. Of these, 525,000 are a first heart attack and 210,000 happen in people who have already had a heart attack.

Image courtesy of theurbanchica.com

"Heart disease is a condition which disproportionately affects African Americans. The impact of heart disease on African-American women is often unspoken or not fully known. African-American women are often unaware of this silent killer and it being the leading cause of death (Black Doctor, 2019)."

According to CDC, "Heart attacks have several major warning signs and symptoms: Chest pain or discomfort. Upper body pain or discomfort in the arms, back, neck, jaw, or upper stomach. Shortness of breath. Nausea, lightheadedness, or cold sweats (2019)."

If you, someone you know believes that they may be having these symptoms above, schedule an appointment with your doctor ASAP. Your heart is a vital organ and it needs to be treated with care with any other vital organs in your body.


Illinois Department of Public Health (retrieved from web on August 2, 2019).

CDC, NCHS. Underlying Cause of Death 1999-2013 on CDC WONDER Online Database, released 2015. Data are from the Multiple Cause of Death Files, 1999-2013, as compiled from data provided by the 57 vital statistics jurisdictions through the Vital Statistics Cooperative Program. Accessed Feb. 3, 2015.

Mozaffarian D, Benjamin EJ, Go AS, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2015 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2015;131:e29-322.

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