Cardiovascular disease disparities: Racial/ethnic factors and potential solutions
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- Ferdinand, K.C. & Ferdinand, D.P. Curr Cardio Risk Rep (2009) 3: 187. doi:10.1007/s12170-009-0030-y
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Disparities persist in cardiovascular disease, and it is difficult to separate socioeconomic status from race/ethnicity or genetic factors. Blacks have more hypertension, with higher cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Despite high rates of type 2 diabetes and obesity, Hispanics do not appear to have higher cardiovascular mortality than non-Hispanic whites or blacks. South Asians have premature coronary heart disease, with more metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Racial/ethnic pharmacogenetics does not justify withholding appropriate medications. However, pharmacogenetics demonstrates the importance of using starting doses of medications that are ethnic specific. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reports that the uninsured have difficulty accessing care, which may lead to delayed diagnosis and longer hospitalizations. Minority providers may positively affect the health of an increasingly diverse population.