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Health Disparities Shame America

By on April 7, 2016

African American health disparities in America has persisted since slavery, through the industrial age to present day. The ugly facts of racial health disparities is that many are preventable. But you might not know that after reading the 2015 Kelly Report on Health Disparities in America.

A 2013 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) examination of persistent causes for the racial gap in life expectancy found higher death rates for African Americans due to heart disease, cancer, homicide, diabetes, and perinatal conditions.

Critical African American Health Disparity 2015 Findings

  • African Americans have higher rates of mortality than any other racial or ethnic group for 8 of the top 10 causes of death.
  • Cancer rates for African Americans are 10% higher than those for Americans of European descent.
  • African Americans are nearly two times more likely to have diabetes as non-Hispanic whites.
  • African Americans are six times more likely than whites to be victims of a homicide.
  • African Americans account for 13% of the total U.S. population, we account for 46% of all new HIV infections
  • African Americans make up more than 33% patients receiving dialysis for kidney failure despite representing only 13% of U.S. population.

The life expectancy gap (which was 5.4 years for African American males vs. White males, and 3.8 years for African American females vs. White females) would have been even larger if not for the lower rates of death in the Black population from suicide, unintentional injuries, and chronic lower respiratory diseases.

Recommendations of the Kelly Report

•    Ensure full implementation of Medicaid expansion
•    Enhance availability of national health data to better address the needs of vulnerable populations
•    Support health center service delivery sites in medically underserved areas (urban and rural) and place support programs that encourage primary care providers to practice in communities with shortages
•    Prioritize prevention and disease management that will serve to improve quality of health care in all populations
•    Support efforts to make healthcare more affordable
•    Support the utilization of trusted community members, such as Community Health Workers in health care delivery

Kelly Report

Click on the link to read the full 2015 Kelly Report on Health Disparities in America.