heart works and how blood flows in your body. Some scientists suspect that low levels of nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels, may also play a role.
The American Heart Association estimates that by 2030, there will be a nearly 30% increase from 2012 in the number of African Americans diagnosed with HF.
Overall, nearly 9 million people in the United States are expected to be diagnosed with HF by 2030.9
While anyone can be affected by HF, it hits the African American community the hardest:
- HF has a more aggressive natural history in African Americans—people are younger and sicker at diagnosis compared with whites
- African Americans are 20 times more likely to develop HF before the age of 50 than whites
- African Americans are approximately twice as likely to die of HF than whites
- African Americans are hospitalized for HF more frequently and at a younger age than whites
- African Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 are almost 3X more likely than whites to have a dangerous amount of fluid buildup that can cause severe breathing problems
Black participants in a study done by the National Institutes of Health who developed heart failure were also more likely to be obese as young adults or have diabetes and chronic kidney disease.
In addition, a decade before developing heart failure, they were more likely to already have systolic dysfunction, an impairment in the heart muscle’s ability to contract. Heart attack, drug use and alcohol use were not associated with the risk of heart failure.
Thompson told RadarOnline, “I have a heart valve that is leaking and the aorta had expanded to way beyond what it is supposed to be. As soon as the doctor identified what was going on, he put me in here,” he said then. “I am so grateful that my doctor found it in time.”