Analysis of the prevalence of cardiovascular disease and associated risk factors for European-American and African-American populations in the state of Pennsylvania 2005-2009

Yong Long, Edward J. Gracely, Craig Newschaffer, Longjian Liu

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13 Scopus citations


We examined the burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and its associated risk factors using statewide representative data from the Pennsylvania Behavior Risk Factors Surveillance System. The data from 35,576 subjects aged ≥18 years participating in the Pennsylvania Behavior Risk Factors Surveillance System in 2005, 2007, and 2009 were analyzed. The age-adjusted prevalence rates of CVD were computed. Logistic regression analysis was applied to examine associations between the risk factors and CVD prevalence, with adjustment for confounding variables. The results showed that no significant changes in the prevalence of CVD, coronary heart disease, and stroke were observed in either European Americans or African Americans from 2005 to 2009 (p >0.05). African Americans had significantly greater CVD rates than European Americans. Although smoking rates significantly decreased, several other CVD risk factors (i.e., obesity, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia) significantly increased from 2005 to 2009 in European Americans. Similar changes were observed in African Americans, although these changes did not reach statistical significance. Logistic regression analysis indicated that African Americans had a 35% greater risk of CVD. Education level less than high school, smoking, obesity, hypertension, and diabetes were significantly and positively associated with CVD. In conclusion, no significant achievements in CVD control and risk factor reduction were observed from 2005 to 2009 in Pennsylvania. Additional aggressive control of hypertension, obesity, and diabetes for both European and African Americans must be made to reduce the burden of CVD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-72
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2013


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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