Research Proposal Draft




Cardiovascular disease for African American Women



Institutional Affiliations

Cardiovascular disease for African American Women

Literature Review

Cardiovascular diseases are the fundamental killer amongst women. Specifically, the women belonging to African American region are susceptible to heart related diseases since they are not aware of it. Consumption patterns, lifestyle, and ignorance are the driving forces behind chronic health conditions (Troxel, Matthews, Bromberger, & Sutton, 2003). Women are major groups that are affected by cardiovascular diseases. For exploring the topic and seeking practical solution to the problem, scholarly articles from the credible sources are reviewed:

McTigue et al, (2012) observed obesity, heart disorders, and death among women belonging to different geographic locations. According to the researchers, most of the women across the globe are affected with obesity. High weight leads to different issues such as high blood pressure, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases. The researcher utilized quantitative data available on World Health Index and focused primarily on postmenopausal women with the age group of 50- 79. The demographic details of participants, smoking frequency and patterns, physical activity level, and bodily conditions were measured. It was observed that risk for Chronic Heart Diseases was very high amongst obese women. Watson and Hunter (2015) also support this fact and according to them African American women show disproportionate level of cardiovascular diseases and anxiety and obesity are the driving factors.

Only 24.4% of the African American women were reported to be free of hypertension and diabetes. 57% of the African American women are affected by diabetes, hypertension and thus have high risk factors of cardiovascular diseases (McTigue, et. al, 2012). These are the statistics of the past seven years and it is expected that the percentage of women affected by the health disorders is increased in the latest years.

Braun et al (2017), also explored cardiovascular risk profiles of African American women. Hypertension, strokes, and hypercholesterolemia are the fundamental observed factors. Moreover, behaviors of individuals also contribute to the development of chronic heart diseases. According to National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), 81.9% of African American women are obese. 65.3% of them suffers from hypercholesterolemia, 82% of the women treats their blood pressure with medication. Cross-sectional base line show that women are at high risk of strokes and premature cardiovascular diseases. There is a need for community research programs, interferences, and change in lifestyle so that these risk profiles can be addressed.

These studies can be supported with the help of research conducted by Mehta, Wei, & Wenger, (2015) and the authors encouraged health-care professionals to pay attention towards this issue. In African American women, the cardiac risk factors emerge from mental stress, autoimmune disorders, adverse pregnancy consequences, and belongingness to low social classes, and marital stress. Therefore besides focusing on the lifestyle and dietary habits, these variables are required to explore further.

Yanek et al. (2001), explored the risk profiles of women over the age group of 40 and explored the impact of support programs in order to limit threats of cardiovascular diseases. The African American women were screened before and after interventions. This was observation based qualitative research where sample of 529 women was drawn from 16 different churches and different observations were made before and after interventions. Weekly Sessions, self-help interferences, and cultural support programs of the church were formalized with the help of community support officials. The results reveal limited impact of interventions on health conditions but the overall improvement within lifestyle of subjects was observed.

Brown, et al. (2017), in their study used quasi experimental study among the sample of English speaking African American women belonging to the age group of 30 to 70. The purpose of the study is to provide practical solution to the subject matter. According to the statistics behaviors and diet play a vital role towards development of hypertension, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases. Being overweight increases the risk for CVD and thus African American groups are prone to health disorders. 82% of them are obese/overweight as compared to the other women across the globe. The qualitative research based upon the analysis of existing sources was conducted by Gracia et al, 2016 and the researcher concludes that CVD is the leading cause of death among women.

For conducting the research community environment that involves collective social support and individual engagement are considered as the independent variables that can stimulate change in individual behavior. Hypothesis states that Club Change Civic engagement practices focus on collective health of community and is culturally appropriate for African American women. The study reveals significant level of feasibility as adherence and retention were within the specified range (Brown, et al., 2017). Pre-post improvements in food intake, exercise, blood pressure, and cardiovascular health are also observed. Thus the study supports the findings of Yanek et al, (2001) as both indicates positive relationship of environmental interventions and cardiovascular health outcomes.


Braun, L. T., Wilbur, J., Buchholz, S. W., Schoeny, M. E., Miller, A. M., Fogg, L., ... & McDevitt, J. (2016). Cardiovascular risk in midlife African American women participating in a lifestyle physical activity program. The Journal of cardiovascular nursing, 31(4), 304.

Brown, A. G., Hudson, L. B., Chui, K., Metayer, N., Seguin, R. A., & Folta, S. C. (2017). Improving heart health among Black/African American women using civic engagement: a pilot study. BMC public health17(1), 112.

Garcia, M., Mulvagh, S. L., Bairey Merz, C. N., Buring, J. E., & Manson, J. E. (2016). Cardiovascular disease in women: clinical perspectives. Circulation research118(8), 1273-1293.

McTigue, K. M., Chang, Y. F., Eaton, C., Garcia, L., Johnson, K. C., Lewis, C. E., ... & Snetselaar, L. (2014). Severe obesity, heart disease, and death among white, African American, and Hispanic postmenopausal women. Obesity22(3), 801-810.

Mehta, P. K., Wei, J., & Wenger, N. K. (2015). Ischemic heart disease in women: a focus on risk factors. Trends in cardiovascular medicine25(2), 140-151.

Troxel, W. M., Matthews, K. A., Bromberger, J. T., & Sutton-Tyrrell, K. (2003). Chronic stress burden, discrimination, and subclinical carotid artery disease in African American and Caucasian women. Health Psychology22(3), 300.

Watson, N. N., & Hunter, C. D. (2015). Anxiety and depression among African American women: The costs of strength and negative attitudes toward psychological help- seeking. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology21(4), 604.

Yanek, L. R., Becker, D. M., Moy, T. F., Gittelsohn, J., & Koffman, D. M. (2016). Project Joy: faith based cardiovascular health promotion for African American women. Public health reports.