Question: How does ethnicity affect my risk of heart failure?
Answer: Ethnicity is an important factor in developing heart failure for three reasons: the cause, the mortality -- which means, can you live with heart failure -- and the treatment of heart failure.
For the cause of congestive heart failure, Caucasians tend to develop congestive heart failure from coronary artery disease. Therefore, those risk factors need aggressive modification.
For African-Americans, hypertension tends to be the No. 1 cause. Therefore, blood pressure's very important to pay attention to in prevention of congestive heart failure for African-Americans.
For mortality, African-American females have the highest mortality once they are diagnosed, and African-Americans, overall, have a higher mortality than their Caucasian counterparts.
For treatment, there is specific treatment for African-Americans versus Caucasians. Although most of the treatments are similar and the same, there is one medication subset that benefits African-Americans more.
So therefore as clinicians, we do consider this.