African American Health

The health status of African Americans identifies a higher prevalence of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, hypertension, diabetes and obesity when compared with Whites. More research is needed to identify socioeconomic variables and to establish needed health programs.

Racial and ethnic disparities in health care, whether in insurance coverage, access, or quality of care, are one of many factors producing inequalities in health status in the United States. Eliminating these disparities is politically sensitive and challenging in part because their causes are intertwined with a contentious history of race relations in America. Nonetheless, assuring greater equity and accountability of the health care system is important to a growing constituency base, including health plan purchasers, payers, and providers of care. To the extent that inequities in the health care system result in lost productivity or use of services at a later stage of illness, there are health and social costs that affect us all.

Health Equity: Inequitable Access To Healthcare’s Racist Roots

Health Statistics – African American Population

Health Advocacy Groups

Health advocacy encompasses direct service to the individual or family as well as activities that promote health and access to health care in communities and the larger public.

Government Health Programs

The federal government should assume a strong leadership position in driving the health care sector to improve the safety and quality of health care services provided to the approximately 100 million beneficiaries of the six major government health care programs. Given the leverage of the federal government, this leadership will result in improvements in the safety and quality of health care provided to all Americans.

Oral Health

Poor oral health may increase ones risk of serious health problems such as heart attack, stroke, poorly controlled diabetes and preterm labor. African Americans receive poorer dental care than white Americans, even when they have dental insurance coverage. The findings indicated that insured participants reported insurance-related difficulties, such as insufficient coverage for needed treatments, inability to find a dentist who accepts their insurance, and having to wait for coverage to take effect.