Researchers looked at 161 people who came to a single emergency department. More than 93 percent of the patients were black.
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None of the people in the study had symptoms or a history of heart disease, but 94 percent had a history of high blood pressure, or hypertension. However, what was disturbing was the fact that echocardiograms (an image of the heart) revealed that nearly 91 percent of the patients had the beginnings of heart disease despite the lack of symptoms. Most of the patients with heart disease had diastolic dysfunction, which means that the heart had a reduced ability to pump blood to the body, brain and lungs.