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Do You Trust the Health Care System?

By on January 15, 2011

Whether it’s the infamous Tuskegee study, uncertainty over the origin of HIV/AIDS or a drug maker not fully disclosing a drugs’ side effect, many black men do not trust the health care system.

The University of North Carolina surveyed 610 black men, aged 20 and older, in different regions of the nation. They found that men with a stronger belief in traditional masculine roles were 23 percent less likely to delay getting their blood pressure checked and 38 percent less likely to delay getting their cholesterol checked than men with a weaker belief in traditional masculinity.

But men who said they were highly mistrustful of the medical system were more than twice as likely to delay routine check-ups and cholesterol screenings and three times more likely to delay having their blood pressure checked than men who were more trusting, said the researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“What we found is that mistrust of the medical system accounts for delays in using health care, especially among older African-American men,” study author Wizdom Powell Hammond.

The study was published in the December 2010 issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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