UAB Research: Black men and women are at higher risk of heart disease

Here's a reality check:{} Even the most health-conscious baby boomers won't be immune from heart problems or strokes. A new study finds that among 55 year olds who don't smoke, have diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol, about one-third will develop heart or other cardiovascular problems as they age.

If those baby boomers are African American, their risk is even higher.

According to recent research by UAB researchers, black men and women still have twice therisk of fatal coronary heart disease compared with white men and women.

Mostof this disparity may be due to greater risk factor burden among blacks including smoking, diabetes and hypertension suggesting that it could beeliminated with better risk factor control, the researchers say.

Coronary heartdisease rates in the United States have steadily declined since the 1970s forall racial groups. However, UAB researchers analyzing death certificate informationand other data from four U.S. cities found a steeper decline between 2000 and2008 in acute coronary heart disease deaths for whites than for blacks.

The study will appear in the November 7th issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.