Cardiovascular Disease Deaths Among African Americans
Deaths Due to Cardiovascular Disease
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a broad term which includes heart disease, atherosclerosis, stroke, high blood pressure, heart failure and congenital cardiovascular defects and accounts for more deaths (39,079) in Illinois than any other cause of death – representing 37 percent of all deaths. CVD remains the leading cause of death for African Americans, claiming 5,679 lives for those older than the age of 34 in 2003.*
African Americans have the highest CVD age-adjusted mortality rates (863.0/100,000) in Illinois – more than 35.2 percent higher compared to whites (638.4/100,000) and 158.8 percent higher compared to other races (333.5/100,000) * (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Cardiovascular Deaths by Race, Gender, Race and Gender
Despite the differences in age-adjusted mortality rates by race, CVD remains the leading cause of death for all races.*
African-American men are especially at risk for dying from CVD. The age-adjusted mortality rate for African American men is 1,023.4/100,000, higher than any other race-gender group.
Women of other races (non-white and non-African American) have the lowest CVD age-adjusted mortality rate at 280.1/100,000.*
Deaths Due to Heart Disease
Heart disease includes ischemic heart disease, coronary heart failure and other diseases of the heart. It is the most common form of CVD and can cause angina (chest pain), heart attacks (myocardial infarction) and sudden cardiac arrest. Unfortunately, a heart attack is usually the first sign of heart disease.**
Heart disease is the most common form of cardiovascular disease and is the single leading cause of death in Illinois and the United States. In Illinois during 2003, 14,144 men and 15,310 women older than the age of 34 died of heart disease.*
Although heart disease age-adjusted mortality rates for all race groups in Illinois are declining, gaps are still evident. African-American men have the highest heart disease age-adjusted mortality rate (807.5/100,000). Furthermore, while overall heart disease mortality rates are declining, rates for African Americans are declining at an average of 1.5 percent per year compared to whites at 2.0 percent per year. (Figure 2)
American men have the highest heart disease age-adjusted mortality rate (807.5/100,000) and women in the other races category (189.8/100,000) have the lowest rate.*
African-American women die of heart disease at 1.4 times the rate of white women. African-American men die of heart disease at 1.3 times the rate of white men.*
Figure 2: Heart Disease Age-adjusted Mortality Rates by Gender and Race
Deaths Due to Stroke
Stroke is the third single leading cause of death in Illinois and accounts for 18 percent of all deaths due to cardiovascular disease. Differences in stroke age-adjusted mortality rates are most noted between race groups, and race-gender groups. Although more than 5,800 whites in Illinois died from stroke, compared to 959 African Americans and 85 of other races, stroke age-adjusted mortality rates for African Americans are 27.8 percent greater than whites, and 96.3 percent greater than other races.*
Noticeable differences also are found in gender/race groups. African-American men have stroke age-adjusted mortality rates that are 43.7 percent higher than for white men, and African-American women have stroke age-adjusted mortality rates that are 15.5 percent greater than those for white women.*
Figure 3 : Stroke Age-adjusted Mortality Rates by Gender and Race
Much of the burden of heart disease and stroke could be prevented through reduction of risk factors, recognizing the signs and symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, and seeking immediate medical attention at the onset of signs and symptoms.
The Warning Signs for a Heart Attack and Stroke are:
Call 911 if you see or have any of these symptoms. Treatment can be more effective if given quickly. Every minute counts!
For more information, contact:
217-782-3300 or TTY 800-547-0466
|Heart Disease and Stroke Home IDPH Home|