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African American Health

Am I in Danger of a Heart Attack?

04/16/2009

Question:

I am a 50 year old black male with a blood pressure of 180/110. I am also 80 lbs.overweight, because of severe arthritis in both knees I have restricted mobility. Also, I have swelling in both feet with coldness in both hands and feet. Am I in danger of having a heart attack? Or developing heart disese?

Answer:

Answer is obviously yes to both questions. Particular as a black male, you are likely to suffer these complications more frequently and at an earlier age. You should see your provider immediately to control BP, control other risk factors (blood sugar, cholesterol, cigarette smoking) and get on a weight loss diet. There are exercise programs even for those with arthritis, and the reduction of calories in diet remains the critical component of weight control.

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Response by:

Jackson T Wright, MD, PhD, FACP Jackson T Wright, MD, PhD, FACP
Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University