Jackson heart study celebrates anniversary - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Jackson heart study celebrates anniversary

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

According to some doctors no group suffers from cardiovascular disease like the African-American community.

Thanks to the Jackson Heart Study hearts have been beating healthier now for 13 years.

"My brother was suffering with hypertension and didn't even know it and this is where the name silent killer comes from," said Ella Perry, a member of the Rankin County Health Advisory Network.

Perry spoke during the Jackson Heart Study's 13th anniversary celebration at the Jackson Medical Mall Saturday morning. Perry said a health fair with information from the Jackson Heart Study helped save her brother's life.

"The doctor told him he would have a stroke and die he didn't know it but because of that fair and him following through today he's able to live a productive life," said Perry.

The Jackson Heart Study is an ongoing research project that some describe as a puzzle linking various lifestyles and genetics to heart disease in the African-American community.

"Each new discovery, each new publication adds a little bit more medical knowledge to help us better deal with health problems in the black community," said Dr. Herman Taylor, the former head of the Jackson Health Study.

It's also helped the public as a whole grasp what it can do it prevent forms of the illness.

"We need to eat less and exercise more," said Dr. Donna Antoine-LaVigne, the Principal Investigator for the Jackson Health Study.

"We can't change heredity, but we can change behaviors and the knowledge is teaching how to change behaviors to live more healthy," said Perry.

While African-Americans are the focus of the Jackson Heart Study its findings have also been helpful to other groups threatened by heart disease.

The Jackson Heart Study recently received $6 million to continue research.

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