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Smoking and Heart Disease Rates in African-Americans

Population and Health Disparity

High prevalence of smoking in African-Americans leads to the increased incidence of heart disease in this population (Cox, Okuyemi, Choi, & Ahluwalia, 2011).

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Literature Search

According to Berry et al. (2012), smoking is associated with the high risks of heart disease, and this is especially the case for the African-American population. A similar point is stated by Cox et al. (2011) who argue that the complexity of the issue is that this ethnic group tends to be influenced by the negative impact of smoking more than other ethnic groups due to the genetic factors, lifestyle peculiarities, and individual metabolism characteristics. Jha et al. (2013) support the findings done by the authors mentioned above by stating that in African-Americans, heart disease incidence associated with tobacco use is higher than in other ethnicities throughout the United States.

Brief History of the Medical Condition

High heart disease incidence in the African-American population is a growing concern in the United States at all levels: the federal level, the state level, and community level in most areas of the country (Jha et al., 2013). The situation is getting more complex every year. It is time to address this malignant problem.

Health Promotion and Prevention Opportunities

The health promotion and prevention opportunities include smoking cessation and regular screening for the presence of any of the risk factors for heart disease such as elevated blood pressure, hyperlipidemia, obesity, and diabetes development (Jha et al., 2013).

Statistical Information to Include Comparisons to Other Populations

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Compared to the Hispanic and Caucasian population, the African-Americans have a 20% increased probability of heart disease incidence and mortality associated with it (Cox et al., 2011).

Evidenced-Based Cultural Values, Characteristics, and Communication

According to Cox et al. (2011), African-Americans tend to experience more problems when coping with the tobacco addiction problem due to the cultural peculiarities of being strongly affected by the community members with different points of view on smoking threats.

Health Disparities

African-Americans face the smoking-related health disparity of high heart disease prevalence. The complexity of the situation is that the biggest part of this ethnic group lives in the conditions of poverty and has no sufficient medical insurance coverage. Therefore, they may not rely on help in the early detection of the disease.

Culturally Competent Health Promotion Activities

Berry et al. (2012) suggest that the African-American population will need regular screening for the heart disease risk factors offered for free. Since a large part of this ethnic minority visits Protestant churches, it is offered that the free screening events can be conducted in churches to extend help to the needy.

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Health Literacy

Blair and Jansen (2015) have stated that African-Americans, in general, lack health literacy due to insufficient general education, not mentioning the absence of special education in the area of health care. It is recommended that nursing professionals should educate the African-American visitors about the health risks they may potentially face due to a variety of factors.

Political Means to Advocate

A nursing professional can include the data regarding the existing health disparity in the African-American population into the community health promotion plan annually and may strive to elaborate preventive measures in cooperation with the community leaders and activists as well as with the support from federal grant programs (Ussher, Kakar, Hajek, & West, 2016).


Berry, J. D., Dyer, A., Cai, X., Garside, D. B., Ning, H., Thomas, A.,…& Lloyd-Jones, D. M. (2012). Lifetime risks of cardiovascular disease. New England Journal of Medicine, 366(4), 321-329.

Blair, K. A., & Jansen, M. P. (Eds.). (2015). Advanced practice nursing: Core concepts for professional role development (5th ed.). New York, NY, USA: Springer Publishing Company.

Cox, L., Okuyemi, K., Choi, W. S., & Ahluwalia, J. S. (2011). A review of tobacco use treatments in U.S. ethnic minority populations. American Journal of Health Promotion, 25(5), 11-30.

Jha, P., Ramasundarahettige, C., Landsman, V., Rostron, B., Thun, M., Anderson, R. N.,…&Peto, R. (2013). 21st-century hazards of smoking and benefits of cessation in the United States. New England Journal of Medicine, 368(4), 341-350.

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Ussher, M., Kakar, G., Hajek, P., & West, R. (2016). Dependence and motivation to stop smoking as predictors of success of a quit attempt among smokers seeking help to quit. Addictive behaviors, 53, 175-180.

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