People of African Caribbean descent in the UK are more likely to develop heart disease due to their increased risk of type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure (hypertension).
A recent study by the British Heart Foundation found that adults with an African Caribbean background have the highest risk of hypertension or stroke of all the ethnic groups in the UK.
It also showed that more than twice as many are likely to develop type 2 diabetes at some point in their lives than the general UK population.
Both type 2 diabetes and hypertension are known risk factors for stroke and heart conditions including angina and heart attack.
But the research worryingly shows that more than half of African Caribbean adults (51 per cent) don’t know the recommended ideal level for blood pressure, and less than half (46 per cent) are aware that the recommended maximum daily intake of salt is one teaspoon.
Furthermore, a quarter do not realise their risk of hypertension is greater than any other ethnic group in the UK.
Explaining why African Caribbean communities are more vulnerable to heart disease, June Davison, a cardiac nurse at the BHF, said: “We definitely think there’s a genetic element why this population are at higher risk – but the key things are that this group of people are more likely to have high blood pressure and are much more likely to have diabetes, and these are key risk factors for stroke and heart disease.”