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Health Issues That African American Women Face

By Edited Apr 29, 2014 0 0

Black women are the heart and soul of the families in the African American community. They are tasked with caring for everyone from the youngest member to the eldest patron. Regardless of how well these ladies take care of the people in their homes, their own health is often frightfully neglected. According to Lorraine Cole, who is the CEO of NBW’s health project, “Black women have the worst health status of any group on nearly all of the major health indices, but there's no national sense of urgency about that. The issue of Black women's health gets lost in the larger discussion of minority and women's health."

When you view to top causes of death in Black females between the ages of eighteen and eighty, the majority of health issue that kill them are completely preventable and treatable. While the top killer is heart disease, which is also prevalent in the male section of black families, Breast cancer is not far behind. There is a higher risk of death from heart disease in black females than in females of any other race. There are no long term studies that can show the reasoning behind black women’s higher susceptibility to the disease, but some studies show that there are certain behaviors and indicators that can help bring light to some of the cause.

While it may sound biased, but the nutritional properties in the food regularly consumed, or lack thereof plays a great role. There is a huge proportion of overweight and obese females in the black community. This is one of the larger reason but not the only issue creating a higher propensity for heart disease. If black women are encouraged to be more proactive about their health and the importance of proper nutrition, a lot of the leading killers can be controlled.

All types of diabetes as well as stroke make up the s next two leading reason for health related death in black women. Heredity plays a big part in how these affect the female; however the chances of contracting them can be greatly decreased by paying close attention to the factors that cause their onset. High amounts of bad cholesterol as well as high blood pressure are the main indicators that these three killer diseases are likely to rear their ugly heads in the future. By exercising on a regular basis, avoiding processed and high fat food along with adding full of fresh vegetables and fruit will drastically reduce the chances of contracting these diseases as well as reverse the effects of the pre-cursers.

Cancer affects every population and in most cases can be treated if caught early enough. As a black female, it is important to partake in a annual mammogram once reaching the age of 18. There are a lot of state and federal programs that allow you to have a free screening yearly, and most insurance plan also offer free yearly screenings as part of their basic coverage. Along with mammograms, a pep smear and pelvic exam is very important to assure that your reproductive health stays in check.

HIV and lung cancer are two other major causes of death among African American females. Both of these dangerous and deadly ailments are 100% preventable. Of all of the cancer in black women, lung cancer accounts for twenty one percent. Of that twenty one percent, ninety percent of the females who have lung cancer contracted it due to habitual smoking. In addition to cancer, smoking also leads to heart disease. If you smoke, or your loved one smokes, the easiest way to cut 70% of your risk is to quit.

Most black women in their mid twenties up to their forties are faced with HIV and AIDS as being a leading form of killer in the community. There has been a lot of information about the diseases as well as great advancements in the treatment options available for those affected; however, it still has its tendrils widely spread in black America. In the US, the disease is most spread in the black community, of that population; the highest number of those affected is the females. Some of the issue surround the increasing spread may be the supposed embarrassment and shame that surrounds having been infected. While the information is out there, there hasn’t been much success in making the community feel comfortable speaking about these issues open and freely on the homes and schools.

It is important for the media, the government as well as prominent community members to promote messages that will raise awareness in the general population. By raising these points and keeping the issues fresh in the minds of the black community, there is a chance that the life expectancy as well as the overall quality of each lie will be improved amongst the African American female population. As for the research aspect of these diseases, there need to more information gather regarding the social economic factors that contribute to the instance of contraction for these diseases as well as the treatment and prevention options that can be implemented on a wide and sustainable scale.

Even while there is a lack of data to study, black women can start to take control of their health and their lives. It is very important for strong black women to remain the center of their families; however, it is even more important for them to take care of themselves.  If the center of the family is unwell, the whole family unit falls into disarray. While there is a large assortment of community awareness programs, many of them are not near enough to reach the whole community in a reliable and meaningful fashion. There needs to be attractive outreach programs for each demographic as well as each social class. Along with these programs, there needs to be a variety of time slots so that women who work out of the home during the day have equal opportunities to avail these services as those who are home with their children during the day.

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