Purpose: African Americans (AA) have higher prevalence and mortality rates of cardiovascular disease largely due to barriers in accessing health care and disease risk factors. The purpose of this pilot study was to identify risk factor status in rural AA residents of North Louisiana and compare those findings with state, regional and national norms.
Setting/Subjects: Sixty-three adults (16 men, 47 women) attending target churches in Northwest and Northeast Louisiana were recruited to participate in health screenings. Measures: Blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol, BMI, physical inactivity, smoking prevalence, and percent body fat.
Analysis: Descriptive statistics were used to compare results to regional, state, and national norms.
Results: The cohort displayed a higher prevalence of hypertension, diabetes, physical inactivity, and percent body fat in comparison to regional, state, and national norms.
Conclusion: Results from this pilot screening demonstrate evidence of a trend of elevated health risks for development of cardiovascular disease in AA adults of Northern Louisiana. Findings indicate the need for further cultural specific wellness interventions including preventative screenings, to lower the health risks of developing chronic diseases in the AA population in Northern Louisiana. Identifying those at risk can lead to earlier diagnosis, and reduced morbidity and mortality.
|Keywords:||African American, Cardiovascular Disease, Health Screenings, Faith-Based Programs, Wellness, Community Health|
Assistant Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Program in Physical Therapy, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, Louisiana, USA
Adjunct Faculty, Rehabilitation Sciences, LSUHSC, USA
Associate Professor, Rehabilitation Sciences, LSUHSC, USA
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Rehabilitation Sciences, LSUHSC, USA