Send to

Choose Destination
Qual Health Res. 2017 Mar;27(4):497-508. doi: 10.1177/1049732316645319. Epub 2016 Jul 9.

Illness Narratives of African Americans Living With Coronary Heart Disease: A Critical Interactionist Analysis.

Author information

1 University of California, San Francisco, California, USA.


How African American men and women respond to and manage living with coronary heart disease (CHD) is not well understood despite the well-documented disproportionate burden of CHD and its complications among African Americans in the United States. Through a critical interactionist perspective, we explore illness experiences of African Americans living with CHD and describe a broad range of micro-, meso-, and macro-contextual factors that influence their illness experiences. For participants in this study, CHD has become a "Black disease" wherein certain bodies have become historically and racially marked; a conceptualization maintained and passed on by African Americans themselves. Such findings highlight that CHD is more than a "lifestyle disease" where high-risk behaviors and lack of healthy choices are ultimate culprits. Rather, CHD is perceived by African Americans who have it as yet another product of ongoing racial and socio-structural dynamics through which their health burdens are created, sustained, and reproduced.


African Americans; coronary heart disease; critical interactionism; health disparities; qualitative Western United States; racial inequalities

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for eScholarship, California Digital Library, University of California
Loading ...
Support Center