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AUDIO: Dr. Underwood Explains How Minorities Are Affected By Heart Disease

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EmpowHer Asks:
Okay, talk to me about minority groups and do minority groups have higher incidences of cardiovascular disease and if so is it a combination of reasons like may be diet, and access to care, maybe even hereditary issues?

Dr. Paul Underwood:
Well, we are already looking very, very closely to try to find out what the differences and healthcare outcomes are. And certainly when you look at different groups, ethnic group, the African-Americans or Asians, native Americans, Latinos, that there are differences in their outcomes. Typically here in America the outcomes are not as good as they would be for the Caucasians. There may be many differences or many reasons why these differences exist. Some of them may be as you said with access to healthcare. Some of them may be related to health literacy, so people may not know exactly what the warning signs and risk factors are. Some of them certainly are lifestyle or risk factors so that there may be higher risk factors such as higher blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, high cholesterol and certain areas that are not and certain groups there are not treated as aggressively. And likewise there may be some genetic components that certainly, there maybe certain genes that are more prevalent in one particular group than it would in another group and that those genes may actually influence one’s response to either illness or sometimes to even a medication that a person may be taking.

Paul L. Underwood Jr., M.D., is an interventional cardiologist in Phoenix, was the 10th president of the Atlanta-based Association of Black Cardiologists 2004-2006 (ABC), Inc.

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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