Study: Why Heart Disease Is More Deadly for Blacks
Finding what tool doesn't work for a race is as important as finding what tool does
Blacks appear to have higher levels of "non-calcified plaque" that is not detected in standard screenings. The "non-calcified plaque" gathers in artery walls and can cause blood clots, which may lead to heart attacks.
"For a long time, physicians have searched for explanations as to why African Americans have higher rates of heart disease and higher cardiac death rates, but less coronary artery calcium than Caucasians," said study co-author Dr. U. Joseph Schoepf, professor of radiology and medicine and director of cardiovascular imaging at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, in a news release. "We show that one possible explanation for the discrepancy may be found in the higher rate of less stable, non-calcified plaque in the heart vessels of African Americans."
Finding what tool does not work for a group of people is just as important as knowing what does work.
“For African-American patients, coronary CT angiography may be a more appropriate screening tool for cardiovascular risk,” Schoepf said.
Statistics show African-American adults are more likely to be diagnosed with coronary heart disease, and they are more likely to die from heart disease. This new study will hopefully change those numbers and lives will be saved through a simple change in scanning tools.