The Inequalities in Heart Disease Detection
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, accounting for 1 in 5 deaths last year. Despite this highly sobering statistic, there are still many misconceptions about the disease, particularly within the impacts of different demographics. Below are five alarming facts about heart disease and why it is often misdiagnosed, disproportionately affecting many minority groups.
1. Heart Disease Is Often Misdiagnosed in Women
While chest pain, irregular heartbeats, and shortness of breath are classic symptoms that males are more prone to display, women may experience other symptoms that are not often associated with heart disease. Because of this, the condition often goes misdiagnosed and accounts for more than 20% of female deaths in the United States.
In fact, many women experience little to no symptoms when diagnosed with heart disease, making it crucial for the American medical community to spread awareness of their best prevention tips.
2. For Black Americans, Heart Disease Is the Primary Cause of Death
African Americans are disproportionately impacted by heart disease, which is this demographic's leading cause of death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), black Americans have two times the risk of dying from heart disease as caucasian Americans. One reason for this increased risk is higher hypertension or high blood pressure rates among the black American population.
3. Hispanic Americans Are Under-Treated for Their Vascular Risk Factors
Hispanic Americans are another minority demographic at an increased risk for heart disease. The American Heart Association reported that cardiovascular disease affected 52.3 percent of Hispanic males and 42.7 percent of Hispanic females who were 20 years of age or older.
This increased risk is likely due to a combination of factors, including higher rates of obesity and diabetes among their population group and a lack of health disease awareness.
4. Indigenous Americans Have the Highest Rate of Death From Heart Disease
Of all the racial and ethnic groups in the United States, Native Americans have the highest rate of death from heart disease. Several factors may contribute to this, including poverty, lack of access to healthcare, and higher obesity and diabetes rates. In fact, the National Indian Council on Aging, Inc. states that nearly 1 in 6 indigenous Americans have diabetes, increasing the chance of heart disease development tenfold.
5. Heart Disease Disproportionately Affects Low-Income Individuals
Believe it or not, heart disease is not evenly distributed across all socioeconomic groups — it adversely impacts low-income Americans. Why? This statistic is likely due to chronic stress and a lack of preventative healthcare, taking away simple assessments that can indicate the onset of heart disease (like measuring blood pressure or cholesterol).
Holding Medical Professionals Accountable at The Mabrey Firm
It is essential to be aware of the healthcare disparities listed above in order to prevent medical misdiagnosis in American families.
At The Mabrey Firm, we are devoted to holding medical professionals accountable for their actions. Our trial attorneys, who collectively have more than 30 years of experience, are committed to defending the rights of the public. We take on every case personally and stand up for those who have been injured or killed due to someone else's negligence.
If you or someone you love has been misdiagnosed with heart disease, let us fight for you. To schedule a free case consultation with an experienced Atlanta medical malpractice attorney from The Mabrey Firm, give us a call at (404) 814-5098 or contact us online.