Race ethnicity and culture in disease

Harvard Heart Letter Race and ethnicity: Clues to your heart disease risk? Your racial and ethnic heritage may influence your heart disease risk, but lifestyle habits play a bigger role.

Race ethnicity and culture in disease

Harvard Heart Letter Race and ethnicity: Clues to your heart disease risk? Your racial and ethnic heritage may influence your heart disease risk, but lifestyle habits play a bigger role. July, Rates of high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease vary among people of different backgrounds.

Adults living in the United States are more likely to die from heart disease than any other cause, regardless of their racial or ethnic heritage. But certain minority groups face a greater risk than others. These differences appear to stem from an increased prevalence of high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity seen in some populations compared with white Americans.

Still, teasing out the reasons isn't easy. Genetic differences do exist.

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But diversity within different racial and ethnic groups means that genetic traits common to some groups can't be generalized to an entire race. Many intertwined factors likely contribute to the higher heart disease rates seen among some groups.

Their lower average incomes affect where they live, which in turn affects their access to healthy food, safe places to exercise, and quality health care. In other words, "your ZIP code is more important than your genetic code," says Dr.

African Americans at risk But even after adjustment for factors related to socioeconomic differences, disparities in rates of heart disease and its risk factors persist, Dr.

In the United States, nearly half of all black adults have some form of cardiovascular disease, compared with about one-third of all white adults.

A genetic difference that predisposes blacks to high blood pressure might play a role. Some researchers suspect that people who lived in equatorial Africa developed a genetic predisposition to being salt-sensitive, which means their bodies retain more sodium.

This condition increases blood volume, which, in turn, raises blood pressure.

Race ethnicity and culture in disease

Salt sensitivity allows the body to conserve water, which can be beneficial in a hot, dry climate. Generations later, however, the American descendants of these individuals remain disproportionately salt-sensitive.

The Hispanic paradox Hispanics and Latinos have higher rates of obesity, diabetes, and other cardiovascular risk factors compared with whites. This so-called Hispanic paradox isn't well understood and may reflect underreporting of heart disease rates as well as possible inaccuracies on death certificates as to cause of death, notes Dr.

Race ethnicity and culture in disease

Among these groups, heart disease rates vary widely. South Asians tend to have higher rates of coronary artery disease. In general, recent immigrants from East Asian countries tend to have lower rates of heart disease than other Americans. However, their children—who often adopt Western cultural practices—have higher rates of obesity and other cardiac risk factors, which underscores the role of lifestyle habits on heart health, notes Dr.

Ethnic and race categories in the United States Ethnicity refers to a group of people who share a geographic area, religion, culture, or language. The two main ethnic groups in the United States are classified as either "Hispanic or Latino" or "not Hispanic or Latino. But they can belong to the white, black, Native Indian, or Asian races.

Race refers to common characteristics passed down through the genes. This geographic diversity within racial groups means that there are actually greater genetic differences within than between certain groups.Race and health refers to the relationship between individual health and one's race and ethnicity.

Differences in health status, health outcomes, .

The Complexity of Ethnicity, Race and Health

COLLEGE OF ARTS & SCIENCES GEOGRAPHY Detailed course offerings (Time Schedule) are available for. Autumn Quarter ; Winter Quarter ; GEOG Introduction to Globalization (5) I&S, DIV M.

SPARKE Provides an introduction to the debates over globalization. Focuses on the growth and intensification of global ties. Ethnicity vs Race Very few of us accurately describe the difference between ethnicity and race, simply because we tend to lump them into the same definition.

The concept of culture as distinct from race/ethnicity has been proposed as a better explanation for differences in health behavior and health outcomes. 12 The definition and conceptualization of culture varies across disciplines. Population groups with differences determined by culture, religion or ethnicity also show differences in terms of illness behaviour and beliefs.

More work is required to understand these reasons. Population groups also differ genetically, so that some diseases are more prevalent in certain ethnic groups.

The United States of America has a racially and ethnically diverse population. The United States Census officially recognizes six racial categories: White American, Black or African American, American Indian and Alaska Native, Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, and people of two or more races; a category called "some other race" is also used in the census and other.

Ethnicity & Disease