Having a big heart is usually considered a good thing, however a new study finds blacks with high blood pressure are significantly more likely than whites to have an enlarged heart, putting them at increased risk for heart attack and stroke.
Results from a study involving about 1,000 blacks and 580 whites showed that all had high blood pressure. Compared to whites, blacks were nearly twice as likely to suffer from left ventricular hypertrophy ( LVH ), or an enlarged heart. They were 2.5-times more likely to have a thickening of the heart muscle.
LVH leads to heart attack or stroke because it increases the workload on the heart. Researchers aren't sure why blacks have a higher rate of the condition, but suggest the phenomenon may help explain the higher rates of heart disease and stroke seen in them and thus pave the way for therapies that can minimize ethnic disparities in the future.