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African American, cardiovascular health, genomics, health disparities, race and ethnicity



  1. Scott, Jewel PhD, MSN, FNP-C
  2. Cousin, Lakeshia PhD, APRN
  3. Woo, Jennifer PhD, CNM/WHNP, FACNM
  4. Gonzalez-Guarda, Rosa PhD, MPH, RN, CPH, FAAN
  5. Simmons, Leigh Ann PhD, MFT


Background: African Americans are more likely to die from cardiovascular disease (CVD) than all other populations in the United States. Although technological advances have supported rapid growth in applying genetics/genomics to address CVD, most research has been conducted among European Americans. The lack of African American representation in genomic samples has limited progress in equitably applying precision medicine tools, which will widen CVD disparities if not remedied.


Purpose: This report summarizes the genetic/genomic advances that inform precision health and the implications for cardiovascular disparities in African American adults. We provide nurse scientists recommendations for becoming leaders in developing precision health tools that promote population health equity.


Conclusions: Genomics will continue to drive advances in CVD prevention and management, and equitable progress is imperative. Nursing should leverage the public's trust and its widespread presence in clinical and community settings to prevent the worsening of CVD disparities among African Americans.