poornima_induAllegheny General Hospital, under the guidance of Dr. Indu Poornima, will be conducting a study to explore why African Americans in Pittsburgh have a higher frequency of heart disease.

Dr. Poornima, the director of the Women’s Heart Center at Allegheny General Hospital, paid a visit to the Hill House of the Hill District earlier this year and discovered that no one had ever talked to the members of the community about these health concerns.

“I spoke to the community members and realized that the cardiovascular services available to them are quite low,” said Poornima.

The study will involve 250 African Americans between the ages of 40 and 70. There will be a detailed questionnaire that will pose questions about one’s family and health history and psychosocial and socioeconomic factors that may aid in being at a higher risk of getting any form of heart disease. Participants must have no prior history of heart diseases or stroke.

There are nine modifiable risk factors for heart diseases in the African American community – abnormal lipids, smoking, hypertension, diabetes, abdominal obesity, psychosocial factors, consumption of fruits, vegetables and alcohol and lack of regular physical activity.

“So I was inspired to do this study because of these many factors,” continued Poornima.

This study will mainly help in trying to engender new prevention methods for heart disease and ultimately improve the health of the African American population in Pittsburgh and surrounding areas.