Heart disease preys most on African Americans - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Heart disease preys most on African Americans

By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Heart disease is the number one killer in Southwest Georgia.  African Americans are most at risk, especially black women.

Georgia has one of the highest death rates from heart disease in the country--nine percent higher than the national rate.

Health officials say that doesn't have to be the case.  Death rates were 1.3 times higher for blacks than whites in Georgia in 2007.  Stroke deaths were 1.5 time higher. 

While many people are predisposed to heart disease, there are many things people can do to improve their heart health.

District Health Director Dr. Jacqueline Grants said, "What we want people to concentrate on is the things they can modify.  You can modify how you eat and what you eat and how much you eat.  You can modify how active you are during the day."

Quitting smoking, getting regular check-ups from your doctor and taking your medication for hypertension and cholesterol can also help.  Dr. Grant says even doing just one of those activities can help improve heart health and lower the risk of heart disease.

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