Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and in Leon County. African Americans suffer from heart disease at higher rates than other groups, making it the most important cause of racial inequalities in life expectancy. HEAT Heart Health will work to understand how stress, the social environment, and inherited (genetic) factors related to family health history affect the risk of heart disease among African Americans in Tallahassee. The information we gain from this study will guide the development of community outreach programs for heart disease prevention.
HEAT Heart Health is run by a Steering Committee of researchers from the University of Florida and community members from Tallahassee. We strive to involve community members as partners, not just as participants, in the research. In keeping with HEAT's principles, we are committed to making our study relevant to the community. We will organize community events to share results of the study and develop recommendations and outreach programs about heart disease prevention.
HEAT Heart Health is funded by two grants to the University of Florida from the National Science Foundation (Cultural and Physical Anthropology Programs).