Heart Disease

Style News Wire | 6/12/2008, 5 p.m.
HEART DISEASE: A structural or functional abnormality of the heart, or of the blood vessels supplying the heart, that impairs ...

Heart disease is an umbrella term for a number of different diseases, which affect the heart.

The most common heart diseases are: Coronary heart disease - a disease of the heart itself caused by the accumulation of atheromatous plaques within the walls of the arteries that supply the myocardium and Ischaemic heart disease - another disease of the heart itself, characterized by reduced blood supply to the organ.

Cardiovascular disease: a sub-umbrella term for a number of diseases that affect the heart itself and/or the blood vessel system, especially the veins and arteries leading to and from the heart. Research on disease dimorphism suggests that women who suffer with cardiovascular disease usually suffer from forms that affect the blood vessels while men usually suffer from forms that affect the heart muscle itself. Known or associated causes of cardiovascular disease include diabetes mellitus, hypertension, hyperhomocysteinemia and hypercholesterolemia.

Cor pulmonale: a failure of the right side of the heart is a hereditary heart disease: caused by unavoidable genetic factors since birth.

Hypertensive heart disease: heart disease caused by high blood pressure, especially localized high blood pressure.

Inflammatory heart disease: heart disease that involves inflammation of the heart muscle and/or the tissue surrounding it.

Valvular heart disease: heart disease that affects the valves of the heart.


Heart disease is the leading killer across most racial and ethnic minority communities in the United States, accounting for 28.0% of all deaths in 2003.

African Americans are 30% more likely to die from heart disease than non-Hispanic whites. This occurs despite the fact that 9.5% of African Americans have heart disease vs. 12.3% of whites. Some 29.7% of African Americans have hypertension compared to 21.5% of whites.

Mexican Americans, who make up the largest share of all the U.S. Hispanic population, suffer in greater percentages than Whites from overweight and obesity, two of the leading risk factors for heart disease. Premature death was higher for Hispanics (23.5%) than non-Hispanics (16.5%). In the Asian and Pacific Islander community, 25.3 percent of deaths are caused by heart disease. In 2001, the number of premature deaths (<65 years) from heart disease was greatest among American Indians or Alaska Natives (36%) and lowest among whites.


• African Americans are 1.5 times as likely as non-Hispanic whites to have high blood pressure.

• American Indian/Alaska Native adults are 1.3 times as likely as White adults to have high blood pressure.

• Overall, Asian/Pacific Islander adults are less likely than white adults to have heart disease and they are less likely to die from heart disease.



• For heart healthy recipes: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/other/chdblack/cooking.htm