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Dr. Rachel-Maria Brown Talaska Highlights Heart Disease Rates For African Americans, Disparities In Medical Care

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- This Black History Month, the focus is on health and wellness and disparities in medical care.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death in the United States, and African-American adults are much more likely to suffer from high blood pressure or hypertension, heart attacks and stroke.

Between the ages of 18-49, African Americans are more likely to die from heart disease compared to white Americans, and between the ages of 35-64, they are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure.

In fact, the American Heart Association says the rate of high blood pressure for African Americans is one of the highest in the world.

CBS2's Elise Finch spoke to Dr. Rachel-Maria Brown Talaska, a health ambassador with the Heart Association and the director of in-patient cardiac services at Lenox Hill Hospital, about these issues. Watch the full interview above.

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