First Heart Attacks More Deadly for Black Patients

heart attack

Blacks are twice as likely as whites to die from their first heart event, a new study shows. Preventing a first heart attack may, therefore, be more crucial for blacks, researchers said.

“Our concern is that blacks may not be seeking medical attention for important symptoms that could signal heart problems,” said the study’s senior researcher Monika Safford, M.D., John J. Kuiper Professor of Medicine and chief of General Internal Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York.

In the analysis of several studies, reported Monday in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation, researchers found that in two studies, black adults ages 45-64 have about twice the risk of fatal events compared with whites. The same is true for older people, although to a lesser degree.

The higher risk may be due to cardiovascular risk factors and so-called social determinants of health—the conditions in which people are born, grow, work and live, the study found.

However, accounting for these same factors resulted in a lower risk of nonfatal events in black men compared to white men, with similar patterns among women that were not statistically significant.

It was a finding that surprised researchers given that blacks have a higher burden of unfavorable social determinants of health and cardiovascular risk factors. The findings suggest another factor the researchers could not measure may be driving the results.

“Greater public awareness of heart attack symptoms would benefit everyone,” Safford said. “Many people think that heart attacks are only present if they have severe chest pain. In fact, many heart attacks cause only mild symptoms and people may mistakenly think they are having a bout of indigestion.”


This article originally appeared on American Heart Association News.


Black Entrepreneur Brings Whiskey to Harlem

Today marks the start of the third annual Harlem Whiskey Festival, bringing whiskeys from around the world to aficionados uptown.

In addition to a Grand Tasting at The Cecil on July 12th, there’s a cigar pairing at Papa Juan cigar lounge and a private Craftsmanship Dinner at Minton’s honoring Hill Harper, former New York Knick John Starks, DJ D-Nice, celeb dentist Lee Gause, entertainment attorney Ed Woods, and artist Alonzo Adams, among others.

Harlem Whiskey Festival Harlem Whiskey Festival (Image: Entourage TV) spoke with Ron Williams, the entrepreneur behind the festival, to learn about the business behind the spirit:

Tell us about your company, Exclusive Access Group.

It was launched in 2007 as a boutique concierge service for professional athletes. “Serving and protecting gifted lifestyles” is our tagline. As a byproduct of our work with athletes we’ve been able to develop tremendous relationships with luxury brands.

When and how did you get into whiskey?

My introduction happened several years ago when my good friend NBA legend Michael Jordan and I shared a bottle of Macallan Single Malt Scotch and a Cuban Cohiba in Toronto.

Harlem Whiskey Festival Harlem Whiskey Festival (Image: Entourage TV)


Why start this festival in Harlem?

I decided to start in Harlem simply because Harlem deserves its own festival. Our objective is to make whiskey hip, fun, cool, sexy, and accessible to women. And to give small batch and craft distilleries an opportunity to reach an underserved audience.

Many people don’t know that there’s a history here, in Harlem.

Harlem actually has a rich history with the spirit, dating back to prohibition. There’s an emerging whiskey movement in Harlem, and we’re at the forefront of it.

This is the third year of the festival. How has it evolved?

We’re super excited about our growth in terms of attendance and brand support. We have whiskeys from around the world, including Japan and India, participating this year. We’ve also added a trade opportunity, so local restaurant and bar owners can come in and meet distillers and brand ambassadors.

The event kicks off with a Craftsmanship Dinner. What makes the honorees special?

Our Craftsmanship Dinner has evolved into an event in and of itself. We’ve assembled an impressive group of honorees this year. Whiskey is about craftsmanship. And our honorees excel at their respective crafts.

Harlem Whiskey Festival Harlem Whiskey Festival (Image: Entourage TV)


You also started a cigar company. How did that come about?

We decided to launch Harlem Cigar Co. because of our passion for cigars and our work with Sensi Cigars Group. We have an ownership stake in Sensi Cigars Group. And we couldn’t think of a better way or platform to introduce their whiskey-infused cigar, which is made in Costa Rica with Cuban tobacco, than during this festival.

Down-Home Luxury: Lexus at Blackberry Farm

I’ve been a journalist for about a decade and have been to many press events. Typically, the average press event is a dreadful affair. A company wants to show the press a new product or service usually through a slideshow or some sort of awkward presentation. Lexus recently invited a few journalists from across the nation to what was an innovative press event at a location that you must add to your travel bucket list: Blackberry Farm in Tennessee.

Blackberry Farm is a 4,000-plus acre pastoral resort in Walland, Tennessee. The entire place is nestled against the Great Smoky Mountains—there is not a bad view to be had in the quaint cottages and carriage houses you can rent during your stay.

On the resort, there’s a slew of activities including paddle boarding, fly fishing, horseback riding, wine and whiskey tastings, and hiking (be cautioned; the seasoned hiking guides will mention the black bears and wild pigs that roam the woods of the Smoky Mountain foothills).

An eclectic selection of food is in abundance. Blackberry Farm is a highly lauded culinary destination with much of the food sourced locally from the region. It’s heaven for foodies, especially Southern cuisine aficionados.

An added luxury: Lexus is a partner with the resort. You can ask the concierge for the keys to any of the latest-model Lexus vehicles on the property and take one for a spin.

Of course, such accommodations don’t come cheap. Expect to pay nearly $700 just for a room and over $1,000 for the smallest guest house. Larger houses can cost up to $9,000 for a weekend.

As an African American woman, I felt quite at home and was charmed by the locals’ hospitality. With the exception of a few off-site mom-and-pop gift shops, I saw no Rebel flags or any other pageantry giving homage to the dark days of the antebellum South. In fact, from what I read online, Walland was one of the few towns in the Deep South that was pro-abolitionist and anti-Confederacy. 

Click the below gallery to view the slideshow of the Lexus press event, appropriately named #LexusMountainAdventure.