GENDER, ETHNIC/RACIAL, AND LIFE SPAN CONSIDERATIONS
Of the 500,000 deaths from CAD in the United States annually, approximately 160,000 occur before the age of 65. More than one-half of these occur in women. For women in their mid to late 50s, CAD is a major cause of illness and death. Following age 80, the risk of CAD for women is equal to that of men. While mortality rates from CAD have declined since 1985 in both whites and African Americans, the decline was less significant in African Americans. In addition, mortality rates in men do not differ by race/ethnicity, but African American women have the highest risk of death from heart disease of all populations. Native Americans have a higher risk for heart disease than do whites, although Hispanics have the lowest risk for heart disease compared with all these groups. Asian Indians living in the United States exhibit two to three times higher prevalence of CAD than whites. Of all deaths from cardiovascular problems in the elderly, 85% are related to CAD; many risk factors associated with CAD are found with increasing frequency among the elderly.
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