African Americans, particularly women, lack access to healthcare due to discrimination and inequality that are wide-spread in the society. This is the major reason why the mortality rate is quite high among black women and they are more likely to experience severe health issues.
Around 11.1% of African American women develop breast cancer and 3.3% of them lose their lives to this disease. A major reason behind this high death rate is the lack of financial resources. They often can’t afford mammography screening or treatment and this risks their lives.
The chances of developing this chronic disease are high due to genetic disorders and environmental factors. However, you can stay safe and healthy by maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercising.
Hypertension or high blood pressure is the root cause of many critical health issues and African American women are more likely to get these diseases. In fact, 1 in every 3 women has high blood pressure.
Hypertension, also known as the silent killer, increases the risk of heart diseases and stroke. Around 46 of 100,000 African American women lose their lives every year to a stroke.
This condition also leads to heart diseases. Moreover, obesity, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and a sedentary lifestyle also contribute to increasing the risk of heart diseases.
Fibroid tumors are abnormal growths in women’s uterus and this condition is quite common among African Americans. However, the tumor growth often goes unnoticed during the early stages. Its major signs and symptoms include:
• Menstrual periods lasting for more than a week
• Heavy menstrual bleeding
• Frequent urge to urinate
• A backache or abdominal pain
• Pelvic pain
Surprisingly, African American women are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as diabetes as compared to any other race in the US. 9.9% of them are diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.
The major reason behind the high percentage of diabetic patients is obesity. Women with a waist circumference above 30 inches are more likely to get diabetes. Moreover, high blood pressure, high levels of LDL cholesterol, low levels of HDL cholesterol, and high blood sugar levels are other crucial factors that lead to diabetes.
Mental Health Problems
Aside from physical health problems, African American women also tend to suffer from a variety of mental health issues. Genetic disorders, social inequality, racism, and economic uncertainty also contribute to this critical issue.
The constant fight with this injustice leads to stress and anxiety and tampers with the help of the community. The high costs of mental healthcare are quite high and it’s not always covered by the insurance policy, which is why the sufferers can’t consult a counselor or psychologist and suffer in silence.
There’s no denying that the statistics for common diseases among African American women are quite alarming. The increasing death rate can be controlled only by raising awareness and improving the living conditions for the community.
Remember the Health Power motto: Knowledge + Action = Power!