Native Americans may have a higher risk for irregular heartbeat
A new study finds that Native Americans are at a higher risk of irregular heartbeat — or atrial fibrillation — than people of other ethnicities. Looking at data from 300,000 new cases of the condition, which can increase the risk for stroke and other heart diseases, researchers found that the rate of new cases per year in Native Americans was roughly 7.5 times per year for every 1,000 patients, but was 6.9 per 1,000 patients of other ethnic groups. The disparity existed even when the scientists accounted for age, sex, income, and the presence of other heart conditions. One caveat: The study was conducted using data only from those in California, so the findings may not be generalizable to the rest of the U.S.