Racial/Ethnic Disparities

Racial and ethnic minorities in the United States experience disproportionately higher morbidity and mortality rates for CVD and DMII.1-14-20 Mortality and disability due to CVD and complications of uncontrolled diabetes are 1.5 to 2.5 times higher in African Americans than their White counterparts.1 Similar disparities exist among American Indian and Alaska Natives. Minority populations- especially in the South- are at higher risk for having undetected or poorly treated risk factors such as hypertension and overweight/obesity. Figure 9.1 illustrates CVD- related mortality rates among African Americans and Whites aged 35-64 years

CVD Mortality Rates for Blacks and Whites aged 34-65 in Fulton County GA

Figure 9.1 2010-2014 CVD Mortality Rates for Blacks and Whites aged 34-65 in Fulton County GA. Map created by Lilly Immergluck from data provided by special agreement with the Georgia Department of Public Health (2016). Funded by a grant from the American Heart Association.

in census tracts in Fulton County, Georgia. Predominately African American census tracts have higher rates than those that are predominately Whites. The gray areas of the map are census tracts with less than 5 CVD deaths (such areas are censored by Georgia’s Department of Public Health). The lack of overlap of areas with sufficient data between African Americans and Whites is reflective of racial segregation of the two groups. As in many other urban areas of the United States, in Fulton County, Georgia, African Americans and Whites largely live in different places that may be differentially shaping their lifestyles, access to healthcare, and ultimately the cause and timing of their deaths.

Fifty-four percent of Georgia adults do not exercise regularly (i.e., 30 or more minutes of moderate physical activity five or more days per week) and 25.1% do not exercise at all.15-21 In Fulton County, 53.5% of adults ages 18 years and older do not meet the recommended level of physical activity, and 19.3% are inactive.16 In addition, more than 75% of Georgia adults do not consume the recommended daily servings of five or more fruits and vegetables; 69.5% of adults ages 18 years and older in Fulton County do not meet this dietary standard for healthy eating. The majority of adults 18 years of age and older in Georgia are overweight and obese (65.8%). The rate of overweight and obesity among Fulton County adults is 53.7%.22-23 Given the dramatic income inequality between north and south Fulton County and the disparate socioeconomic conditions, the rate of overweight and obesity are likely to be much higher in South Fulton County.17

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