Heart Disease Among Caucasian Females




“Health Status.” Women’s Health USA. 2004. Health Resources and Services Administration U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://mchb.hrsa.gov/whusa04/pages/ch2.htm


I consider myself to be a Caucasian Female. Upon researching on a health disparity that is prevalent among the group I identify with, I came across data that stated cardiovascular disease is one of the top leading causes of death in white females living in the United States. Heart disease is common among women and men but more women die of the disease each year. Symptoms and risk factors are different between men and women. Some risk factors that can cause heart disease among women include depression and mental stress thus women’s hearts are affected more than men’s. Smoking also poses a greater risk for heart disease in women. According to data Non-Hispanic white students were more likely than Hispanic or non-Hispanic black students to report tobacco use. Factors such as physical activity and diet can affect the risk of heart disease. Research from the American Heart Association found that the prevalence of inactivity was highest among black (26.7%) and Hispanic (21.3%) girls followed by white girls (13.7%). Genetic factors can play a big role in the cause of a disease but diet and lack of exercise are also important factors that can cause heart disease if someone is inactive or has poor nutrition. As mentioned in lecture, BiDil is a prescription drug that was made to be more effective among the African American race. This causes controversy in the science community because many believe that race can only be found out by asking someone what they identify with or by examining their physical attributes such as the color of their skin. Many scientists believe race cannot be identified through genetic testing or other biological means therefore, race targeting drugs would not be any more effective in the Black community or any other specific race for that matter. Genetics are important in causing disease but many other factors affect health such as socioeconomic status, wealth, etc. Disparities that exist among different races do not only occur due to genetics but the other factors play a huge role.



“Whites and Cardiovascular Disease.” American Heart Association. 2013.



May Clinic staff. “Heart disease in women: Understand symptoms and risk factors”. Mayo Clinic. January 12, 2011.





This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. pucket10 says:

    I agree with how you represented each subject of race and genetics in regards to heart disease. I came across similar statistics involving females and poor heart health as well and find it interesting that mental stress and depression can have such significant impacts. As a portion of these situations are due to lack of physical activity and diet, other factors as you mentioned also have significance and were well addressed in your post. It is also interesting to note the differences among races and how genetics plays into this if there is truly no genetic discrimination among races. You mentioned the drug BiDil, which I agree with the controversy you described that race specific drugs may be difficult to use if it is true that race is based on epidemiological factors. That could become quite controversial if it is proven that genetic makeup is falsified in connection with race, although certain statistics can contradict these premises. As you stated though, there are many other factors that contribute to these cardiovascular diseases and problems such as socioeconomic status and income which could skew some of these statistics in a more race driven direction.
    I think your take on racial categories in a clinical sense is in the right direction, although it is difficult to say how accurate they are without a more in depth analysis at certain statistics such as lack of physical exercise. Racialized health disparities may have a clearer view if more factors were represented so that some of these statistical biases of race could be resolved. It seems that this would require a vast amount of research in a multiple perspective sense, however I do feel that it would give more concrete answers to racialized health disparities.

  2. Brannden McDonnell says:

    In your post you said that “Some risk factors that can cause heart disease among women include depression and mental stress thus women’s hearts are affected more than men’s”. From reading your post how is this true? Do you have statistics somehwere to back up your claim that depression and mental stress affect women more than men?

    I found that your data for which races of women were the least inactive was interesting as it didn’t seem to play a big role in heart disease as white girls were the most active, yet have the highest rates of heart disease. Therefore, there must be another reason for it.

    I agree with “Disparities that exist among different races do not only occur due to genetics but the other factors play a huge role” when referring to the BiDil drug, as a drug shouldn’t be able to know what race a person is as race is such a broad term and people can identify with many different races and be a mix of many different races as well. Racial categories can still be a viable method of organizing research for now, but I feel it will get more difficult in the future and what race a person is will have to be categorized more specifically soon by the mix of races that each individual has.

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