African American Men Paradoxically Have Fewer, Less Severe Coronary Obstructions Than White Males

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2006-04-27 13:17

African American Men's Health

While African American men are more likely to die from cardiovascular disease, they paradoxically have fewer cases of coronary obstruction than clinically similar white men, according to a new national study led by a Medical College of Wisconsin researcher. The study results, to appear in the May 16 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, will be presented on April 27 at the American Medical Association's science news briefing in New York.

"Our findings suggest the need for greater understanding of factors influencing coronary events in diverse populations," says Jeffrey Whittle, M.D., MPH, associate professor of medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, and lead author of the study. "Overall, I believe that as we better understand the mechanism of disease, we'll see that different factors are important for different individuals." Dr. Whittle practices at the VA Medical Center in Milwaukee.

Five U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers participated in the study. The researchers compared the coronary anatomy between 311 African American and white veterans who had coronary angiography following a positive nuclear perfusion imaging study. This non-invasive stress test, when positive, suggests the possibility of blocked coronary arteries. One manifestation of coronary artery disease (CAD) is the complete or partial obstruction of the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle (the coronary arteries).

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