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HEALTH FACT SHEETS

Bone Marrow Transplants
Breast Cancer
Cardiovascular disease
Diabetes
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HIV/AIDS
Kidney Disease
Lupus
Prostate Cancer
Tobacco
Violence

 

TOPICS
Warning signs
Cholesterol and heart disease
To control risk of cardiovascular disease
   
 

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Cardiovascular disease, which blocks the blood vessels to cause heart attacks, kidney problems and strokes, kills more Americans than any other disease. African-Americans are at greater risk for CVD than any other population group, according to the American Heart Association. In 1993, black men were almost 1 1/2 times as likely as white men to die from CVD; black females were 69.1 percent more likely than white women to die from CVD.

In San Mateo County, 171.4 of 100,000 African-Americans die from heart disease compared to 107.8 per 100,000 population of whites. High blood pressure, which means blood doesn't flow easily through blood vessels, strains the heart and damages blood vessels. It is a risk factor for heart attack and the greatest single cause of stroke. It affects 28 percent of African-American adults and more than two-thirds of African Americans over age 60. It is the No.1 preventable cause of more than 65,000 deaths annually among African- Americans.

 

WARNING SIGNS

For a Heart Attack
Uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest lasting more than a few minutes
Pain spreading to the shoulders, neck or arms
Chest discomfort with lightheadedness, fainting, sweating, nausea or shortness of breath

For a Stroke
Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm or leg on one side of the body
Sudden dimness or loss of vision, particularly in one eye
Sudden, unexplained severe headaches
Unexplained dizziness, unsteadiness or sudden falls, especially along with other symptoms

 

CHOLESTEROL AND HEART DISEASE

High blood cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease. Half of black men and 54 percent of black women have too much cholesterol, a soft, fat-like material in the blood. Cholesterol is a made naturally by the body, but also comes from eating animal products including meats, eggs and dairy. Fruit, vegetables and cereals don't have cholesterol.

Cholesterol can be reduced by eating fewer foods containing cholesterol and exercising. Medications may lower cholesterol for some.

 

TO CONTROL RISK OF CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE

Lose weight
Become physically active
Moderate alcohol intake
Reduce salt intake
Stop smoking and avoid second-hand smoke

 

 

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