Disparities exist in nearly every aspect of health, including quality of health care, access to care, utilization of health care and health outcomes. Despite notable improvements in the overall health of the United States during the past two decades, there continues to be striking disparities in the burden of illness and death experienced by African American, Hispanic/Latino/Latinx, American Indian, Alaska Native, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander populations.
Cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death, further highlights the urgency of addressing these disparities. For example, according to a paper published in the July 2022 issue of Circulation, while age-adjusted mortality rates declined among both Black and White adults, Black women and men encountered higher cardiovascular mortality rates than White persons between 1999 and 2019. Furthermore, younger Black women are more than twice as likely to experience premature death from cardiovascular causes than White women, and Black women and men living in rural areas experience the highest cardiovascular mortality rates nationwide.
It is imperative to understand the impact of the various facets of disparities on advanced cardiovascular disease that include but are not limited to gender, race and socioeconomic factors.
From population studies to implementation science studies
Our Cardiovascular Equity Research Program, led by Khadijah Breathett, MD, MS, FACC, FAHA, FHFSA is focused on reducing racial, ethnic and gender disparities in treating advanced cardiovascular disease. Studies conducted may vary from randomized controlled studies and observational population studies to implementation science studies and community interventions that are designed to reduce racial, ethnic, and gender disparities through implementing best practices within the health care delivery system.