There are many factors that can increase your risk of disease. Some are inherited while others are related to your lifestyle habits, behaviors and customs. Where you live, your socioeconomic status and your access to quality healthcare can also affect your disease risk.
Although any of these variables can be impacted in part by your ethnic background, it doesn’t mean you are automatically at a high risk of specific diseases based solely on your race or ethnicity. But you should talk to your doctor about screenings you may need and steps you can take to stay healthier, especially if your ethnic background puts you at a higher risk of developing a specific disease.
While you can’t change inherited risks or some factors related to where and how you live, the good news is that you can reduce your overall disease risk by making better lifestyle choices, such as eating healthy, exercising, maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking.
Some ethnicities face a greater risk of cardiovascular disease than others, especially non-Hispanic black persons. This is partly because of a higher incidence of high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. According to the CDC:
Your chance of getting breast cancer or dying from it may be influenced by your ethnic background. According to the Susan G. Komen Foundation:
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