The nonprofit is working to ‘close the gap’ in heart health inequities – NBC Boston
Heart disease strikes black people at a higher rate than almost any other group in America, but it’s a problem that doesn’t need to exist, and one local group is working to change the statistics.
For Kyree Miller, the fight to help communities of color improve their heart health is very personal. He knows what it’s like to die.
“I remember everything went blank and I was completely flat, and I came back right before they said ‘Clear!'” Miller said.
It was the first of three times the 30-year-old suffered cardiac arrest.
“There’s been heart issues in my family for generations, which, you know, often runs through the black community,” Miller said.
Miller, who is on the waiting list for a heart transplant, works with the HeartBrothers Foundation, a Marlboro-based nonprofit that focuses on educating people in minority communities about heart health.
“They want to close the gap. They want to fix the problem so the stats don’t look like they used to,” he said.
The fact that black people are so much more likely to be diagnosed with heart disease is not due to a “biological or genetic component of any racial or ethnic group,” said Dr. Cheryl Clark, program director for the Health Equity Research and Intervention Team at the Center for Community Health and Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Dr. Cheryl Clark, Division of General Medicine and Primary Care, and Director of Health Equity Research and Intervention at the Center for Community Health and Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital joins NBC10 Boston .
Race and ethnicity are social categories, she said, and disparity comes down to social factors.
“Communities in the United States are more likely to be unaffordable because of differences in the cost of accessing insurance, differences in employment rates,” Clark said.