Heart Disease in White Women

heart disease chart

I consider myself a white women. After going through this week’s resources and knowing about the risks I face as I white woman I chose heart disease. I was either going to choose heart disease or osteoporosis. The reason I chose heart disease is because I do not know anyone that has heart disease. Opposite of that, I know many women that have osteoporosis and have to deal with it on a daily basis. I thought heart disease would be interesting to look in to because I don’t know as much about it as I do with osteoporosis.

Through the lectures, readings and videos for this week, it is clear to see that there are definite relationships between health, genetics and race. Even more so, the environment in which you live can either be detrimental or the community can be adaptive the the conditions. Looking at medical ecology, the adaption theory defines poor health as evidence that the inferior genes are somewhat due to Social Darwinism or survival of the fitter (McElroy). An example of adaptation are Africans and Malaria. In West Africa, the adaptation to malaria enabled the sickle cell trait to be passed on for generation. This is unique to the environment that they were in at the time. Beyond that, the disease called Schistosomiasis which is spread in water because of parasites has really affected Africa’s rural areas. This is a disease that Africans have not been able to adapt to as of yet. More so, they are putting in environmental safeguards like dams and economic programs to hinder the spread of this terrible disease.

I think heart disease is prevalent among white women because of a few reasons. First of all, I think that we are more worried about taking care of others rather than ourselves (I think that is true in most cultures and backgrounds, not just caucasian). I also think that smoking has a lot to do with it. Women might be smoking to assist in losing weight. Also, unfortunately, our society is not known for it’s health. Our obesity rates are astounding and possibly those issues have catapulted heart disease in white women.

“Heart Disease Mortality Data Trends for 2000-2008” California Department of Health, accessed July 11, 2014. http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/ohir/Pages/Heart2008RaceSex.aspx. 


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