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New Survey Shows African-Americans Are Concerned With Heart Health but Unaware of Link to Brain Health
Date:2/12/2008

Alzheimer's Association and American Heart Association Join Forces to Educate

African-Americans on Managing Heart Health to Promote Brain Health

CHICAGO, Feb. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A recent survey commissioned by the Alzheimer's Association and the American Heart Association found that, among African-Americans, two out of three (61 percent) expressed concern about developing heart disease, and two out of five (40 percent) expressed concern about developing Alzheimer's. However, only about one in 20 (6 percent) are aware that heart health is linked to brain health.

February is Black History Month and American Heart Month, so the Alzheimer's Association is teaming up with the American Heart Association. Their goal is to educate African-Americans that by managing their cardiovascular risk, they may also strengthen their cognitive health. This first-time strategic alliance will kick off in February and extend through May, which is American Stroke Month.

Compared to the general public, African-Americans have a higher risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other cardiovascular complications, which could lead to a higher risk of stroke and Alzheimer's disease.

"What's good for your heart is good for your brain," says Jennifer Manly, Ph.D., Alzheimer's Association spokesperson. "Every healthy heartbeat pumps about one-fifth of your blood to your brain. The human brain is comprised of billions of brain cells that need a constant source of nutrients and oxygen, which is carried in the blood so that the brain can carry on the daily processes of thinking, problem solving and remembering. Impaired heart function could lead to impaired brain function."

"By the year 2030, the number of African-Americans age 65 or older is expected to more than double to 6.9 million," said Emil Matarese, M.D., clinical neurologist and American Heart Association spokesperson. "Although Alzheimer's is not pa
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SOURCE American Heart Association
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