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"A blood pressure exam wasn't exactly on my shopping list that day, but when I saw AAHP giving free screenings at my local supermarket, I lined up for an exam. It was quick and painless-and surprising. A follow-up appointment indicated that I was at risk for cardiovascular disease. Armed with information and support from the AAHP, I took action to quit smoking, improve my diet, and get more exercise. Today, my numbers-and my life-are headed in the right direction."
Cardiovascular health refers to health of the heart as well as the blood vessels. It is important to have proper blood supply to various organs to maintain good health. Diseases and disorders of the cardiovascular system, including heart disease and stroke, are termed cardiovascular diseases.

Heart disease, which refers to several types of heart conditions, is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death. As frightening as those statistics are, the risks of getting those diseases are even higher for African Americans.

According to the American Heart Association, hypertension, obesity, and diabetes are the most common conditions that increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. African Americans:

  • Have the highest prevalence of high blood pressure of any group in world. The condition is not only more severe for African Americans but also develops earlier in life.
  • Are disproportionately affected by obesity. Among non-Hispanic Black persons age 20 and older, 70% of men and 80% of women are overweight or obese. And, almost 26% of African Americans ages 6-17 is obese, compared to approximately 15% of non-Hispanic White youths.
  • Are nearly twice as likely to have diabetes as non-Hispanic Whites. About 15% of the population age 20 or older has the disease.

AAHP offers a variety of services to help prevent and manage cardiovascular disease. Click on the side links to learn more.
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