That's the alarming finding of a new study presented today at the American Heart Association's scientific sessions meeting in Chicago.
Researchers at the Ochsner Clinic Foundation in New Orleans looked at 5,069 people referred for stress testing and compared fitness levels of black men and white men.
White men had significantly higher exercise capacity than black men, who were found to be more obese. The researchers say they found that being black was an independent risk factor, although weak, for poor exercise capacity.
The researchers say in a prepared statement that an emphasis on weight loss and an increase in exercise and physical fitness is important for prevention of cardiovascular disease in black men.
Several previous studies of people with coronary artery disease have found that exercise capacity is a strong predictor of future health. However, there are few studies that have assessed exercise capacity in adult blacks or the effect of race on fitness levels, the researchers say.
Here's where you can learn more about blacks and exercise.