A New Drug Might Help Fight Heart Failure in the Black Community


African-Americans are 20 times more likely than Whites to develop heart failure before the age of 50.

So doctors want this holiday season to include the gift of knowledge about how to prevent it.

As you put your heart into getting just the right gift for your loved ones this Christmas and making their favorite dishes, doctors want African-Americans to think about their heart health.

“We know that African-Americans are at higher risk for high blood pressure, diabetes,” explained Dr. Elizabeth Ofili, Professor of Medicine and Director at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. “We have more overweight and obesity. These risk factors, it turns out, drives some of the problems we have with heart failure.”

An Internationally renown researcher and clinician, Dr. Ofili says lifestyle is so important. African-Americans must stop smoking, get regular exercise and change this kind of diet she describes.

“Diet that’s high in fats, processed foods, meats, and unfortunately African-American diets are also lower in things like fruits and vegetables,” she said.

But she says lifestyle isn’t the only reason why black men and women are at much higher risk for heart failure. Physiology, or body chemistry and function, plays a role too.

“There’s some genetic predispositions,” Dr. Ofili said. “It is important that African-American patients understand that’s the reason, sometimes, that we need different therapies.”

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Source: WWL TV | Meg Farris