African Americans are known to have a higher rate of heart disease and stroke than whites, and a new study suggests that those excess risks emerge at a relatively young age.
Using data from a government health study, researchers found that African Americans between the ages of 35 and 44 had nearly twice the prevalence of cardiovascular disease — a history of heart attack, heart failure or stroke — than their white counterparts.
Extrapolating to the general U.S. population, the researchers estimate that just under 2 percent of white adults in that age group had ever been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, versus just under 4 percent of African Americans.
The racial gap persisted among adults in their 40s and 50s, though it declined with each decade, until there was no significant difference after age 60.
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