Healthcare Disparity – A physician and patient perspective

As a leader in heart and vascular care, Cleveland Clinic’s Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute recognizes that rates of disorders such as peripheral arterial disease (PAD), cerebrovascular disease (Stroke), cardiovascular disease (CVD), and premature renal failure are high among certain groups of patients due to cultural backgrounds.

These disorders are 3 to 4 more common among these patients and lead to higher rates of:

  • Vascular Disease, which can result in limb amputation and stroke
  • Heart Disease, including heart attack, heart failure and aortic aneurysm
  • Kidney Disease. Including kidney failure, renal hypertension, dialysis and kidney transplant

These related diseases affect the patients’ quality of life.

Research suggests that among minority and cultural groups, patients with these conditions may not have access to the advanced treatments they need or treatment may be offered only after the disease has gotten much worse. These treatments include limb revascularization to prevent amputation, vascular treatments for renal artery disease, coronary artery stent or bypass surgery, carotid artery stent or bypass surgery and aortic aneurysm repair.

The Center for Multicultural Cardiovascular Care is designed to:

  • Research and understand the nature of heart and vascular diseases that are unique to special groups
  • Identify appropriate testing for high risk populations
  • Provide access to treatment
  • Understand how treatments differ among races and cultures



  • Lee Kirksey, MD – Department of Vascular Surgery
  • Benico Barzilai, MD – Section Head, Clinical Cardiology, Robert and Suzanne Tomsich Department of Cardiovascular Medicine


News & Publications

News & Publications

Consult QD



Facts and stats

African Americans:

  • 3% have heart disease
  • 33% have hypertension
  • 4% have had a stroke

South Asians have a three to five fold increased risk of myocardial infarction

Hispanics or Latinos (Mostly Mexican Americans):

  • 8% have heart disease
  • 9% have hypertension
  • 4% have had a stroke

Facts and stats: risk factors

  • Obesity 29.7% found in Mexican Americans and 48.4% African Americans
  • Hypertension 41.2% found in African Americans