TUESDAY, May 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Older Americans and whites reported less chest pain or discomfort (angina) in the past two decades, but there was no such drop among blacks, a new study shows.
Angina is often the first sign of a heart problem or coronary heart disease, the researchers noted. It occurs when the heart doesn’t get enough oxygen-rich blood.
“People often don’t know that they have heart disease until it’s too late,” study author Julie Will, a senior epidemiologist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a news release. “Angina serves as a warning to both the patient and the doctor that a person may have underlying heart disease.”
Their analysis of national data from 1988 to 2012 found that the rates for whites aged 40 and older who reported angina fell by about one-third between 2001 and 2012, and fell by half between 1988 and 2012.