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ACC: Cardiovascular Risk Factors Present in Younger Black Women

FRIDAY, May 14, 2021 -- Young Black women show a high prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology, held virtually from May 15 to 17.

Nishant Vatsa, M.D., from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, and colleagues assessed age at diagnosis of obesity, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia among Black women participating in a community screening program (2015 to 2018). The analysis stratified women into 20-year age cohorts (20 to 39 years: 217 women; 40 to 59 years: 469 women; and ≥60 years: 259 women).

The researchers found that mean body mass index was highest in the middle age group. Systolic blood pressure increased with cohort age (20 to 39 years: 122 mm Hg; 40 to 59 years: 132.7 mm Hg; ≥60 years: 141.8 mm Hg), as did cholesterol (20 to 39 years: 173 mg/dL; 40 to 59 years: 194.1 mg/dL; ≥60 years: 196.8 mg/dL). However, low-density lipoprotein levels were higher in younger Black women (20 to 39 years: 87.9 mg/dL; 40 to 59 years: 66.7 mg/dL; ≥60 years: 70.7 mg/dL). More older Black women reported limiting salt intake and ate fast food less than three times a week compared with younger Black women. While not a significant difference, more older Black women exercised >30 minutes at least three times a week (20 to 39 years: 6.5 percent; 40 to 59 years: 8.2 percent; ≥60 years: 13.4 percent). Smoking rates were similar across the age groups.

"Interventions like educating young women about healthy dietary choices and the benefits of exercise, improving access to health care and enhancing the ability for people to adopt healthy practices -- such as increasing access to healthy foods and safe areas for physical activity -- needs to start early," Vatsa said in a statement.

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