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County-Level Factors Affect Race/Ethnicity-Specific CVD Death

WEDNESDAY, March 3, 2021 -- The county-level factors associated with age-adjusted cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality vary by race/ethnicity, according to a study published online March 3 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Bongeka Z. Zuma, from Stanford University in California, and colleagues examined the correlation between the race/ethnicity-specific CVD age-adjusted mortality rate (AAMR) and county-level factors using 2017 county-level data. Factors that accounted for the greatest variation in CVD AAMR by race/ethnicity were examined.

The researchers identified 659,740 CVD deaths among non-Hispanic White individuals in 2,698 counties; 100,475 deaths among non-Hispanic Blacks in 717 counties; and 49,493 deaths among Hispanic/Latinx individuals in 267 counties. The highest mean CVD AAMR occurred in non-Hispanic Blacks, while the lowest was seen in Hispanic/Latinx individuals (320.04 versus 168.42 deaths per 100,000 individuals). Across all racial/ethnic groups, the highest CVD AAMRs were seen in the South. For non-Hispanic Whites, non-Hispanic Blacks, and Hispanic/Latinx, the greatest variation in CVD AAMR was explained by physical inactivity (32.3 percent), median household income (24.7 percent), and population size (28.4 percent), respectively. Using county-level factor categories, the greatest variation in CVD AAMR was explained by CVD risk factors, socioeconomic factors, and demographic factors for non-Hispanic Whites (35.3 percent), non-Hispanic Blacks (25.8 percent), and Hispanic/Latinx (34.9 percent), respectively.

"This study's greatest value is that it informs the understanding of cardiovascular population health and the numerous factors that play a role in cardiovascular health," a coauthor said in a statement.

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