24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
Fax: (361)578-5500
Regular Hours: M-Fri 8am - 5pm
Every 3rd Thurs of the Month - Extended Hours Until 7 pm

Medical Disorders
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
Do Immune-Based Cancer Drugs Work Better in Men?Gene Found in Amish Helps Protect Their HeartsOmicron May Overcome Prior COVID InfectionWindy Days Are Safer Days When It Comes to COVID-19Most Vaccinated Adults Plan to Get Boosters: PollStudy Finds Delta Somewhat Resistant to Vaccines — What About Omicron?Is the Mumps Vaccine Becoming Less Effective?Vaping Can Trigger Gene Changes in Cells: StudyPfizer or Moderna? Head-to-Head Study Shows One Shot Has an EdgeSurvivors of Severe COVID Face Doubled Risk for Death a Year LaterKids With Uncontrolled Asthma at Higher Odds for Severe COVID-19Nearly 7% of U.S. Kids Have Had a Head Injury or ConcussionFirst U.S. Omicron Case Reported in California'Ultra-Processed' Foods Up Odds for a Second Heart Attack or StrokeCDC to Toughen COVID Testing for International TravelersAHA News: Irregular Heartbeat Risk Linked to Frequent Alcohol Use in People Under 40Certain Blood Thinners Can Raise Risk of 'Delayed' Bleeding After Head InjuryFDA Panel Gives Support to Merck's COVID Antiviral PillLong-Haul COVID Can Include Chronic Fatigue: StudyVaccines, Boosters Should Protect Against Severe COVID, Even With Omicron: FauciPfizer to Seek FDA Approval of Boosters for Teens Ages 16-17Regeneron Says Its Antibody Cocktail Likely Weakened by Omicron VariantCOVID May Trigger Heart Condition in Young AthletesMany People With High Blood Pressure May Take a Drug That Worsens It: StudyBiden Pushes Vaccines, Masks as Best Defense Against Omicron VariantHow Easily Can Singing Spread COVID-19?New Insights Into What Might Drive Parkinson's DiseaseHot Days Can Send Even Younger Folks to the ERRed Light in Morning May Protect Fading Eyesight: StudyMerck's COVID Pill Appears Effective, But May Pose Pregnancy Risks: FDAVaccine Makers Already Testing Their Shots Against Omicron VariantWhat Experts Know About the Omicron 'Variant of Concern'Gout Drug Colchicine Won't Help Fight COVID-19What You Need to Know About Stomach CancerFetal Infection With COVID-19 Possible, But UnlikelyCOVID Protection Wanes After 2 Doses of Pfizer Vaccine: StudyRural Hospitals' ERs Just as Effective as Urban Ones: Study1 in 5 Avoided Health Care During Pandemic, Study FindsBoosters: What You Need to KnowAHA News: Pulmonary Embolism Is Common and Can Be Deadly, But Few Know the SignsAlmost 1 in Every 3 College-Age Americans Are Now ObeseAnimal Study Offers Hope for a Vaccine Against Lyme DiseaseAddictive Opioid Painkillers Might Not Be Needed After Knee SurgeryYears of Blood Thinners After Stenting Might Not Be NecessaryU.S. COVID Cases, Hospitalizations on the Rise Just Before ThanksgivingVaping Could Weaken Your Bones, Study FindsWearable Vibration Device May Ease Parkinson's TremorPfizer Says Its COVID Vaccine Provides Full Protection to AdolescentsBooster Shots Prompt Stronger, Longer Protection Than Original Shots: StudyTV Remotes, Nurse Call Buttons: Where Coronavirus Lingers in Nursing Homes
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics


Dying Young From Heart Disease: Where You Live in the U.S. Matters

HealthDay News
by By Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Oct 19th 2021

new article illustration

TUESDAY, Oct. 19, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- People who live in disadvantaged parts of the United States are nearly twice as likely to die young from heart disease as folks in the wealthiest locales, a new study reports.

In other words, your zip code can tell you as much or more about your heart health risk as your genetic code, said senior researcher Dr. Khurram Nasir, chief of cardiovascular prevention and wellness at Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center.

The results are even more dire for minorities living in struggling counties, researchers added.

For example, Blacks living in a socially vulnerable county had double the risk of premature death from heart failure, and a 65% higher risk of stroke compared with Blacks living in a prosperous area.

"We found that the U.S. counties that were the worst off from a social vulnerability standpoint had the highest premature cardiovascular mortality," Nasir said. "We're not talking about elderly individuals. We're talking about young individuals who are less than 65."

For this study, Nasir and his team combined data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to look at places in the United States that are socially vulnerable, and then see how they are affected by heart disease. The results were published Oct. 18 in the journal Circulation.

Factors that create higher levels of social vulnerability include poverty, unemployment, lack of education, single-parent households, disability, minority status, difficulty with English, and types of housing that include apartments and mobile homes.

The people who live in places where these factors are highest tend to be hardest hit by heart problems, researchers found, including:

  • a doubled risk of stroke.
  • a 2.7 times greater risk of death from high blood pressure.
  • a 3.4 times greater risk of heart failure.
  • a 52% increased risk of heart disease caused by clogged arteries.

"There is a direct link," Nasir said, adding the worse the vulnerability, the more likely those counties will have premature cardiovascular mortality.

These vulnerable counties also tend to have poorer access to health care and medicines that can control cholesterol and high blood pressure, Nasir said.

People there also aren't as likely to have access to lifestyle factors that can influence heart risk, including healthy foods and safe places for physical activity.

"You're seeing a combination of social, financial and health system factors that have contributed, and no one size fits all," Nasir said. "We'll have to focus on all of them if you truly want to mitigate these social disparities experienced by the unfortunate marginalized communities we're seeing in this data."

There's one silver lining in all this, Nasir added: By using this data, health officials and policy makers can target resources to the communities that need help, and potentially help make a dent in heart disease there.

"These measures need to be incorporated in our planning," Nasir said. "We need to start actively outreaching."

Dr. Elizabeth Jackson, chair of the American Heart Association's committee on social determinants of health, agreed.

"Without access to quality care, nutritious foods, stable housing or other basic health needs, people often get sicker and die younger," said Jackson, interim director of cardiology with the University of Alabama at Birmingham's division of cardiovascular disease.

"Unfortunately, these data are not surprising, but rather support prior evidence suggesting health disparities are disproportionately experienced in areas where higher degrees of social vulnerability exist," Jackson added.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about the social determinants of health.

SOURCES: Khurram Nasir, MD, MPH, chief, cardiovascular prevention and wellness, Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center, and co-director, Center for Outcomes Research at Houston Methodist; Elizabeth Jackson, MD, MPH, interim director, cardiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Division of Cardiovascular Disease; Circulation, Oct. 18, 2021