UMN Expert: Reducing cardiovascular disease risk in African-Americans

Erica Schorr

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death among African-American adults, accounting for nearly 100,000 deaths annually. Additionally, compared to other racial and ethnic groups, African-Americans have a disproportionate incidence of hypertension, diabetes and smoking, which are all risk factors for the development and progression of CVD. In fact, African-Americans have the highest rates of hypertension in the world.

School of Nursing expert Dr. Erica Schorr is available to comment on interventions being explored at the University of Minnesota related to CVD risk in the African-American population:

Erica Schorr
“Health outcomes for African-Americans can be improved by providing individuals with education on CVD risk factors and mitigating their risk with regular health screenings, medications and lifestyle changes. A crucial component of patient education is differentiating modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors. For example a person’s age and heredity can’t be controlled, but individuals can stop smoking and make changes to dietary and physical activity patterns.

“At the University of Minnesota, we’re focused on identifying, testing and implementing interventions that support health behavior change and long-term maintenance to decrease CVD risk and prevent premature death and disability among African-Americans.”

Erica Schorr, PhD, BSBA, RN, is an assistant professor in the School of Nursing and a co-operative member of the Adult and Gerontological Health unit. Her scholarly focus is on coronary and peripheral artery disease; cardiovascular disease risk reduction for African-Americans; interdisciplinary translational research; social and behavioral determinants of health; physical activity interventions; and using wearables and mobile technologies to support interventions focused on health behavior change and maintenance, and improved function and quality of life.

Contact information
Erica Schorr
612-624-6406 (o)

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Erica Schorr’s Driven to Discover video.


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About the University of Minnesota School of Nursing
Founded in 1909 and recognized as the birthplace of university-based nurse education, the University of Minnesota School of Nursing continues to lead the profession into the future. With a mission to generate knowledge and prepare nurse leaders who create, lead and participate in holistic efforts to improve the health of all people, the school and its research are addressing health issues across the life span with a focus on health promotion among vulnerable populations, prevention and management of chronic health conditions, symptom management, and health/nursing informatics and systems innovation. The school is ranked among the top programs in nursing informatics and is internationally renowned for its efforts to improve health and health care through the use of big data.

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