Home U.S US News Black people may be more vulnerable to atherosclerosis earlier in life than Hispanic young adults

Black people may be more vulnerable to atherosclerosis earlier in life than Hispanic young adults

Black people may be more vulnerable to atherosclerosis earlier in life than Hispanic young adults

A unique Mount Sinai study focused on an underserved multiethnic community in New York City shows that black young adults are twice as likely to have atherosclerosis as similarly situated Hispanic young adults.

Atherosclerosis is the buildup of plaque in the arteries that can cause blockage and lead to a heart attack or stroke. The research, published July 11 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, is one of the first to assess atherosclerotic plaque in asymptomatic young urban populations and emphasizes the importance of early detection and lifestyle interventions in high-risk minority groups to improve their cardiovascular health.

What’s interesting about this study is that blacks appear to be more vulnerable to atherosclerosis earlier in life than Hispanics, even when adjusting for known lifestyle and cardiovascular risk factors, such as smoking , an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, high blood pressure, and cholesterol This may put them at increased risk for cardiovascular disease, suggesting the existence of emerging or undiscovered cardiovascular risk factors in this population.”

Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, director of Mount Sinai Heart and chief physician at The Mount Sinai Hospital, who created and led the trial, called Project FAMILY at Mount Sinai Heart.

The study is part of an ambitious multinational effort to intervene early in the lives of children, their caregivers and teachers so they can form heart-healthy habits throughout their lives. These new results come after highly successful interventions involving more than 500 preschool children, caregivers, and educators at 15 Head Start schools in the Harlem section of Manhattan, an urban area that is socioeconomically disadvantaged, a situation commonly associated with higher rates of obesity. , heart disease and other health problems.

The FAMILY team focused on 436 adults, including family members of preschool children, caregivers, teachers, and school staff. Of that group, 147 participants were black and 289 Hispanic, with an average age of 38 years; 80 percent were women. They each answered a comprehensive questionnaire at the start of the study, addressing their nutrition, physical activity, tobacco use, alcohol use, and whether they had conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or a family history of health problems. Their weight was also recorded, and their blood pressure and cholesterol were checked.

In general, cardiovascular risk factors were prevalent for both ethnic groups at the start of the study. Thirty percent of the black participants had high blood pressure, almost triple the rate of the Hispanic group, 11 percent. In contrast, black participants had lower rates of dyslipidemia; unhealthy blood lipid/fat levels (18 percent) compared to Hispanics at 27 percent; and better eating habits, consuming more fruits and vegetables. The researchers used these data to calculate a predicted cardiovascular risk score for each group. They found that the overall 10-year risk of having a cardiovascular event was low for both blacks and Hispanics: about 4 percent for both groups.

The participants also underwent 3D vascular ultrasound to determine if they had atherosclerosis in the carotid (neck) and femoral (leg) arteries. These vascular ultrasounds indicated a significant discrepancy between the groups. Overall, nine percent of the participants had subclinical atherosclerosis (nearly one in ten participants showed at least one artery with plaque). In addition, the rate of plaque buildup in the arteries was twice as high among blacks as among Hispanics. The results were consistent even after adjusting for classical cardiovascular risk factors, such as age, gender, body mass index, hypertension, diabetes, and cholesterol; lifestyle factors, including diet, physical activity, and tobacco use; and socioeconomic factors such as employment status.

“These findings may help in part to explain the observed differences in the prevalence of cardiovascular disease between racial and ethnic groups,” adds Dr. Fuster. “The study further contributes to our understanding of the higher rates of cardiovascular disease seen at a young age in disadvantaged communities. Until the underlying biological factors and other undiscovered cardiovascular risk factors are better understood and can be addressed with precision medicine Affordable, non-invasive imaging techniques such as the portable 3D vascular ultrasounds used in this study, which are easy to use and affordable, can be an important form of early detection in underserved communities and provide valuable insights into population disparities and increase the accuracy of prevention and health promotion programs”.

Dr. Fuster and his team will expand the FAMILIA program to schools in all five boroughs of New York City starting in September 2022. This project will also assess how family socioeconomic status and teacher characteristics can affect the implementation and effectiveness of school health. promotion programs.

The FAMILIA project was supported by a grant from the American Heart Association.

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