Heart Disease in African American Community

Heart Disease among African Americans

Problem

Heart disease (HD) is currently proven to be the primary cause of death among the U.S. population (Buxbaum & Ruberg, 2017). Although the specified condition affects all members of the American population, representatives of the African American community suffer to the greatest extent from it (Sellers et al., 2016). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2014b), 44% of male and 48% of female African Americans have some form of an HD that has a direct impact on their quality of life significantly. Among the key factors that make HD so difficult to address is its unpredictable nature.

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Exposure to certain factors such as unhealthy eating, high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and family history is typically viewed as a risk factor for HD (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014a). Therefore, it is essential to introduce the intervention that will help the specified demographic avoid the development of an HD or the aggravation of their current condition (Sellers et al., 2016). A program aimed at building health awareness combined with an intervention aimed at family support for patients will lead to a steep increase in the number of positive outcomes.

Population

Affecting African Americans directly, HD leads to a rise in mortality levels among the specified demographic to a huge extent. However, it should be noted that a stroke, which is the key threat posed by HD, typically occurs in a particular age group, which currently includes people aged 45 and older (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014a). Therefore, even though HD can start developing in 20-year-old African Americans, its negative effects will only manifest themselves in the next 25-30 years (Bansal et al., 2016).

Nevertheless, a recent study shows that the foundation for the further development of HD is provided when the specified demographic develops the habit of consuming drinks with high levels of carbohydrates, which occurs at a comparatively young age of 20-24 (Saab et al., 2014). Therefore, an intervention embracing the tools for appealing to both people with HD and younger demographic is required.

The high risk of HD in African Americans is explained by the fact that the specified disorder is predetermined by a regular increase in blood pressure (BP), which is also typical for the specified members of the U.S. population (Bansal et al., 2016). The underlying lesion of high BP levels, i.e., arteriolosclerosis, also defines the development of HD since it is known to block arteries and thus create the conditions in which HD develops (Buxbaum & Ruberg, 2017). Therefore, it is crucial to build the framework based on which the identified demographic can be protected against the development of HD.

Significance and Impact

Since HD remains one of the key factors leading to a massive rise in the death toll levels among African Americans in the U.S., the significance of the study can be regarded as moderate to high. With the discovery of the approach that can be used to encourage a change in eating behaviors and the reduction of risks of HD contraction, one will be able to improve the quality of patients’ lives significantly. In addition, HD will no longer affect the African American community to the same extent as it does at present. Consequently, the further exploration of the problem is needed.

Statistical Data

A recent report indicates that the rise in the number of people affected by HD and the subsequent increase in the instances of heart attacks have led to a steep increase in mortality rates among African Americans (Buxbaum & Ruberg, 2017). Particularly, women belonging to the said community are at a 50% greater risk of having HD than White women. The specified correlation is even higher for Black men (70%) (Office of Minority Health, 2018).

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A CDC report shows that 289.1 men and 176.4 women per 100,000 die because of the complications caused by HD, including strokes (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014b). Therefore, it is critical to design the intervention that will lead to a drop in the levels of threat to which the identified population is exposed.

Nursing Organizations: Position

A range of organizations recognize the problem of HD development by African American community members. Furthermore, an array of institutions take numerous actions to handle the issue and prevent it from aggravating. For instance, the American Nurses Association (2014), or ANA, admits that the problem of HD remains especially problematic in African American communities and recommends the interventions that could potentially lead to an improved outcome. For instance, the importance of building a cross-cultural dialogue by offering the members of the identified communities the services of African American nurses to increase the efficacy of communication has been suggested (Sellers et al., 2016).

In addition, ANA stresses that its members are striving to improve the outcomes of African American patients with HD, a well as reduce the threat of HD development among healthy African Americans (Bansal et al., 2016). However, the current position of ANA needs to be supported by an innovative intervention model that can manage the problem of communication and build awareness among the specified demographic. Moreover, the tools for encouraging patient education and reducing the harmful effects of myths regarding HD that affect community health must be regarded as a necessity.

Position Statement

The current situation regarding the levels of HD among African Americans is beyond deplorable. Despite numerous efforts made to shield the vulnerable population form HD, the latter remains one of the leading causes of death (Buxbaum & Ruberg, 2017). The lack of awareness about the problem combined with extraordinarily unhealthy dieting and unwillingness to use strategies for exercising and managing their heart issues can be seen as crucial contributors to the rise in HD levels among African Americans. The specified problem is aggravated by the difficult economic conditions in which a significant part of African American community members lives (Bansal et al., 2016).

Therefore, the unavailability of essential resources coupled with the lack of awareness, knowledge, and skills for maintaining health at the required high level affects the African American population extensively. The introduction of a strategy that will help encourage patient education and monitor patients’ health status in the environment of their homes should be deemed as the primary step toward a massive improvement in the management of HD among African American people.

Advocating for the Population

At present, it is crucial to make the target demographic visible and focus on encouraging the rest of the society to acknowledge the problem. Thus, the tools for managing the issue will be designed. For instance, using social media as the means of disseminating crucial data among African American community members must be regarded as the first step toward improving the current situation. In addition, the problem must be made visible to ensure that African American people could receive extensive support from local healthcare services. Thus, the premises for change can be created. In addition, training sessions for nurses and other healthcare providers must be designed.

In the course of the training, nurses will have to be given information that will make the process of establishing a dialogue with the members of African American communities easier. The following increase in the number of positive outcomes among HD patients within the specified community can be seen as the expected change.

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Elevator Speech

The issue of HD remains one of the driving causes behind the steep rise in mortality rates among African Americans (Bansal et al., 2016). Although a range of attempts to reduce the number of cases involving the development of HD in African American patients have been taken, very little progress has been achieved so far (Buxbaum & Ruberg, 2017). The specified phenomenon can be attributed to the factors such as the lack of awareness, problems in establishing a connection between patients and nurses, poor accessibility to corresponding healthcare services, etc. Therefore, when designing an intervention aimed at handling the problem of HD levels among African Americans, one must focus on building a dialogue with African American people.

The change that will be implemented to improve patient outcomes in African American communities will involve the active use of social networks. Thus, information about the tools for preventing HD by adopting a healthy lifestyle will be made available to African Americans.

In addition, the specified alterations to the current approach toward patient-nurse communication will create additional opportunities for promoting patient education. Thus, the vulnerable population will develop the skills required to prevent the development of HD. Specifically, following dieting principles can be seen as an important improvement.

The target demographics requires access to the information that will provide the basis for a change in behaviors. Thu, premises for encouraging the adoption of a healthy lifestyle and appropriate dieting choices will become a possibility. The identified objective can be attained by using social networks as the key data medium. A nurse can develop a rapport with all target age groups by utilizing social media to get the key message across. In addition, the said tool will provide extensive opportunities for keeping African American community members informed about the means of contacting their local healthcare facilities. Finally, nurses will gain an opportunity to monitor changes in patients’ behavior when they are released from a hospital. Consequently, a massive change is expected to occur.

The active promotion of awareness coupled with the provision of access to hospital services and resources will give African American community members a chance to improve their current health status and acquire the skills and knowledge necessary for preventing and addressing HD.

Moreover, strategies for encouraging patients’ family members to participate actively in the process of behavior change should be regarded as crucial given the significance of family support in the African American culture (Bansal et al., 2016). Therefore, interventions aimed at increasing family involvement and at the same time implying the active education of its members must be seen as necessary changes. The identified alterations will have a vast positive effect on the quality of patients’ lives and help reduce the threat of developing HD among African Americans.

References

Bansal, N., Katz, R., Himmelfarb, J., Afkarian, M., Kestenbaum, B., de Boer, I. H., & Young, B. (2016). Markers of kidney disease and risk of subclinical and clinical heart failure in African Americans: The Jackson Heart Study. Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation, 31(12), 2057-2064.

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Buxbaum, J. N., & Ruberg, F. L. (2017). Transthyretin V122I (pV142I)* cardiac amyloidosis: An age-dependent autosomal dominant cardiomyopathy too common to be overlooked as a cause of significant heart disease in elderly African Americans. Genetics in Medicine, 19(7), 733-742.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014a). African Americans heart disease and stroke fact sheet. Web.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014b). National vital statistics report. Web.

Office of Minority Health. (2018). Heart disease and African Americans. Web.

Saab, K. R., Kendrick, J., Yracheta, J. M., Lanaspa, M. A., Pollard, M., & Johnson, R. J. (2014). New insights on the risk for cardiovascular disease in African Americans: The role of added sugars. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, 26(2), 247–257. Web.

Sellers, S. L., Moss, M. E., Calzone, K., Abdallah, K. E., Jenkins, J. F., & Bonham, V. L. (2016). Nurses’ use of race in clinical decision making. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 48(6), 577-586. Web.

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