Heart disease and stroke remain the leading cause of death in our country. According to the American Heart Association, you are even more likely to die of heart disease if you are black.
February is Black History Month, but it's also Cardiovascular Month. That's why we met Dr. Andre Churchwell, a cardiologist in Vanderbilt and Head of Diversity. According to him, Nashville still has a long way to go to address the health disparities that exist when comparing white and black residents of the city.
"You are less likely to be brought to the emergency room and the time to contact you is much longer than if it were the case in a white population, in a white area of the city." is quite striking, is not it? " said Churchwell, sitting in his office at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, with its walls covered with items and tributes to prominent African-Americans such as Dr. Levi Watkins and Vivien Thomas, who have made incredible contributions in the cardiovascular health sector.
Churchwell says that Nashville and our country as a whole will never reach their economic potential if the health benefits are not perceived as accessible to all Americans.
"Disparities in health must be treated on a moral basis, but if you really need to think of it as a business investment, it really does not bother me, all I want is that the disparities in health are reduced, addressed and eliminated, "he said. I said.
According to the American Heart Association, black Americans are more likely to have high blood pressure and diabetes and are more likely to be obese than white Americans. Each of these factors contributes to heart disease, the leading cause of death in America.
Churchwell said the black community is more likely to suffer for several reasons.
"We stay at home with our heart disease and let it reach a critical stage before finally being brought by our family to emergency rooms because we do not trust the medical system," she said. he declared.
He says that many people who suffer give up the doctor because they have no money and choose to feed their families instead of treating their high blood pressure and heart disease. It has also been suggested that low-income communities have limited access to healthy food and that there are no safe parks to exercise or that it is impossible to afford transportation for access these products.
So what can we do?
Churchwell said he has seen great success in treating heart disease by setting up health clinics in low-income areas. The American Heart Association is working with other community organizations to improve messaging, hoping to build trust between the health sector and the African-American community.
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