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AHA: Risk for Heart Disease Up for Young Black Adults in the U.S.

Comparison of cohorts of hospitalized young, Black adults from 2007 and 2017 shows higher rates of risk factors for CVD

FRIDAY, Nov. 19, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Young African American patients have had an increasing burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors and worsened in-hospital outcomes, though with improved survival odds, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2021, held virtually from Nov. 13 to 15.

Rupak Desai, M.B.B.S., from the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and colleagues compared the burden of CVD risk factors and major adverse cardiac events (MACE) and in-hospital outcomes among young hospitalized African Americans (18 to 44 years). The analysis included 1,341,068 admissions in 2007 and 1,581,675 in 2017 identified from the National Inpatient Sample databases.

The researchers found that the 2017 cohort often had younger (mean age, 30 versus 31 years), male (30.4 versus 28.8 percent) patients with higher nonelective admissions (76.8 versus 75 percent). The 2017 cohort also showed a rising burden of traditional cardiometabolic comorbidities, congestive heart failure, chronic pulmonary disease, coagulopathy, and depression, along with an increased likelihood of diabetes, obesity, and smoking and notable reductions in alcohol abuse and drug abuse versus the 2007 cohort. Worsening in-hospital outcomes included MACE (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.21), acute myocardial infarction (aOR, 1.34), cardiogenic shock (aOR, 3.12), atrial fibrillation/flutter (aOR, 1.34), ventricular fibrillation/flutter (aOR, 1.32), cardiac arrest (aOR. 2.55), pulmonary embolism (aOR, 1.89), and stroke (aOR, 1.53). However, the 2017 cohort showed a decreased rate of percutaneous coronary intervention/coronary artery bypass graft and all-cause mortality compared with the 2007 cohort.

“Many potential factors seem to be responsible for these findings, including less frequent annual wellness visits; absent or insufficient screening measures at a younger age; genetics; stress; an unhealthy diet; a lack of awareness or insight into a healthy lifestyle; and even financial constraints,” a coauthor said in a statement.

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