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Close relationships with neighbors influence cardiovascular health in Black adults


Feeling rooted in community and socializing with neighbors may strongly contribute to better cardiovascular health by improving diet, exercise habits, and weight control, new research among Black adults in Georgia suggests. And better cardiovascular health may add up to fewer heart attacks and strokes, two leading causes of disability and death.

"There’s a range of interactions within the community that can improve one’s cardiovascular health, not to mention the effect on mental health — the sense of belonging, of being seen — which is tightly related to cardiovascular outcomes in the long run," says Dr. Dhruv Kazi, director of the cardiac critical care unit at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and associate director of the Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Center for Outcomes Research in Cardiology.

"Another way to put it is that these unique sources of resilience in communities may directly affect diet, exercise, weight, and mental well-being, all of which lead to improved cardiovascular health," he adds.

A positive perspective on health within Black communities

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