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Atrial Fibrillation More Deadly for Black People

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Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat, that is associated with myriad cardiovascular problems. While atrial fibrillation – often shortened to just A-fib – is dangerous for people of all races and ages, a new study concludes that due to lack of quality health care the problem may be most dangerous, and most deadly, for black people.

Black People with A-Fib Twice as Likely to Suffer Premature Death

The results of the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), show that both whites and blacks who suffer from atrial fibrillation are at an increased risk of stroke, heart failure, and coronary heart disease, as well as an increased risk of death. However, the study – which followed 15,080 people, 3,831 of whom were black, for more than 20 years – also found that black people with atrial fibrillation:

  • Were twice as likely to have a stroke than were white people with the condition;
  • Had a 42 percent higher likelihood of suffering from heart failure;
  • Were 76 percent more likely to develop coronary heart disease; and
  • Had a risk of premature death nearly twice as great as white people with A-fib.

According to an article in The New York Times, the researchers did not offer insight as to the reason behind why the risks associated with atrial fibrillation are so much greater for black people. However, it should be noted that neither treatment nor disparities in treatment were considered in the study, which may be part of the explanation.

Racial Disparities May Be to Blame

The fact that black people who suffer from atrial fibrillation are more likely to die than are their white counterparts may have nothing to do with genetics and DNA; instead, the problem likely lies in the fact that there are major racial disparities when it comes to quality healthcare treatment. Dr. Jared W. Magnani, who is the lead author of the JAMA study, told Times’ reporters that, “We need a preventative health system for all Americans, and we don’t have that in place.” In other words, lack of competent healthcare for minorities may be to blame for tragic health events.

Contact a Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Attorney

At the law firm of Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C., we believe that the quality of healthcare a patient receives should be independent of race, socioeconomic status, age, gender, or religion. Further, we strongly believe that when these factors affect the quality of healthcare that a person receives, a legal (and ethical) wrong has been committed. If you believe that you received substandard healthcare, and that this lack of care contributed to your harm, or the harm of a family member, our attorneys want to represent you.

For a free case consultation, contact our aggressive Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys today. We will advocate for your rights, and help you to seek compensation for your losses following a breach of the duty of care owed to you.

Contact us for your consultation (215) 567-3500