Black-White Disparities Persist for Cardiovascular Mortality, rom 1999 to 2019

Two studies show increased cardiovascular mortality for Black versus White adults in a nationwide analysis, the MESA sample.

According to two studies published online in Circulation, cardiovascular mortality is still increasing for Black versus White adults.

Ashley N. Kyalwazi, from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and colleagues calculated age-adjusted cardiovascular mortality rates per 100,000 for Black and White women and men in the United States. The researchers found that from 1999 to 2019, there was a decrease in age-adjusted mortality rates overall for both Black and White adults.

A decline in age-adjusted cardiovascular mortality was seen among Black (602.1 to 351.8) and White women (447.0 to 267.5); over time, the absolute rate difference between these groups decreased (155.1 in 1999 to 84.3 in 2019). These patterns were similar for Black and White men. Despite this progress, in 2019, cardiovascular mortality was higher for Black women and men compared with their White counterparts, especially for young Black women (younger than 65 years).

Wendy S. Post, M.D., from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, and colleagues describe the risks for all-cause and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality by race and ethnicity in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), which recruited 6,814 U.S. adults aged 45 to 84 years, free from clinical CVD at baseline.

The researchers found that after adjustment for age and sex, the risk for mortality was higher for Black people, lower for Chinese people, and no different for Hispanics than Whites. The mortality hazard ratio was reduced for Black versus White participants after adjustment for socioeconomic status but was still significant.

“The results of this study lend further support to the need to identify and act on the underlying societal drivers of these persistent differences,” Post and colleagues write.

Two authors from the Kyalwazi study disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

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