DAMON WILLIAMS

Nearly half of all African American adults have some form of cardiovascular disease, and African Americans have nearly twice the risk for a first-ever stroke than Caucasians, resulting in a much higher death rate from stroke.

However, while one in three adults has some form of cardiovascular disease, 80 percent of those diseases can be prevented.

That’s where the American Heart Association jumps in.

MARIO BROWNE

In advance of the organization’s sixth annual Power of Laughter Workshop and Comedy Luncheon, Sept. 16 at the Wyndham Grand, Downtown, Mario Browne, director of the Office of Health Sciences Diversity at the University of Pittsburgh School of Health Sciences, said education is paramount to prevention.

“If you don’t know that certain things typically provided for you may not be healthy for you, you tend to make (unhealthy) choices,” Browne said.

Browne said the reasons why Blacks are more likely to suffer from heart disease are not necessarily genetic, “but lifestyle- or diet-related, smoking, or the different stresses that people may be under. Even lack of access to things such as safe places to walk and exercise, and a lack of fruits and vegetables.”

Browne, also an AHA spokesperson, said the organization touts three primary ways to combat cardiovascular diseases.

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