Patient Focus: Closing the Gap in Minority Health Care

CardioSource WorldNews | Improving population health is a strategic priority the ACC, as well as CardioSmart. Part of this objective is reducing disparities in health care. Despite improvements, disparities still exist for racial and ethnic minorities in the United States. For example, African American adults have among the highest prevalence of hypertension in the world according to the American Heart Association’s 2015 Update of its Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics. Similarly, the prevalence of diabetes is higher among Hispanics/Latinos and African Americans. Hispanics/Latinos also have a higher prevalence of elevated blood cholesterol. Even though these populations are at higher risk, minorities also tend to experience worse outcomes after cardiovascular events. Additionally, these populations often have less access to medical care. It is important that all patients receive the same level of treatment, regardless of race.

In an effort to eliminate these disparities and achieve health equity, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health has made April National Minority Health Month. This year’s theme is focused on “Accelerating Health Equity for the Nation.” If we are to be successful in the quest to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health, then taking proactive steps to accelerate the closure of gaps in care as a function of race and ethnicity as well as other factors such as sex and age is critical. CardioSmart offers content on conditions disproportionately effecting minority populations such as diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity. Through CardioSmart, patients can also find webinars and in-person education sessions offered across the country. Through these resources, patients and their caregivers can receive important information on managing heart conditions and making healthier choices.

For more patient resources visit CardioSmart.org. To learn more about National Minority Health Month or to find an event near you, visit www.minorityhealth.hhs.gov.

Read the full April issue of CardioSource WorldNews at ACC.org/CSWN

Keywords: CardioSource WorldNews, American Heart Association, Diabetes Mellitus, Heart Diseases, Minority Groups, Minority Health, Prevalence, United States Dept. of Health and Human Services


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