Monday, December 26, 2005—New government research suggests that American blacks — women in particular — are especially susceptible to a clogging of the arteries in the legs, a potentially crippling condition.

The new findings add to a growing body of evidence that black Americans are just as vulnerable to heart disease as whites, said Dr. Elijah Saunders, a professor of medicine at the University of Maryland.

“We’ve gone from saying that minorities, especially blacks, did not have heart disease and vessel disease to the same extent as whites to saying not only is it as common, in some cases it may be more common,” said Saunders.

Atherosclerosis -- hardening of the arteries -- occurs when fatty deposits shrink the arterial vessels. In the legs, the condition can lead to pain and difficulty moving.

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