This post was originally published back in 2015 under the title Health Risks For African American Women. But due to the rising awareness of the disparity in health and wellness in the minority community, I felt compelled to share it again as to-date, all of the stats remain relatively the same. I’d also like to add that the same disparity exists when it comes to toxic ingredients in beauty and household products. It’s real folks.

As a black woman who has learned the value of health and wellness, I’m extremely saddened and concerned when I look at some of the health data as well as the reality that so many black women are living.

African American women are most affected by chronic illness. They are least likely to seek medical attention, and most likely to die from preventable or treatable illnesses. Of course, this is not the case for every woman in every community. But for too many, it is the case.

According to women’s health, “Of all minority groups, African-Americans have the most, and many times the largest, differences in health risks when compared to other minority groups. African-Americans have more disease, disability, and early death as well. The illnesses and diseases featured here are among the top health concerns facing African-American women. Many of these problems are chronic, which means they last a long time, sometimes forever. Yet, many also can be prevented.”

They also went on to note the following health conditions, which are very common for African American women:

Asthma

Breast cancer

Cancer

Cervical cancer

Diabetes

Glaucoma & cataracts

Heart disease

High blood pressure

High cholesterol

HIV/AIDS

Infant death

Kidney disease

Lupus

Mental health problems and suicide

Osteoporosis

Overweight and obesity

Pregnancy-related death

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

Sickle cell anemia

Smoking

Stroke

Tuberculosis (TB)

Uterine fibroids

According to Americanprogress.org, African American women make up approximately 13% of the female population in the USA, and in terms of health, they also note the following statistics:

  • Black women are four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes, such as embolism and pregnancy-related hypertension, than any other racial group.
  • Black women are four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes, such as embolism and pregnancy-related hypertension, than any other racial group.
  • Hypertension is more prevalent among African American women than any other group of women: 46 percent of African American women 20 years of age and older have hypertension, whereas only 31 percent of white women and 29 percent of Hispanic women in the same age bracket do.
  • While white women are more likely to have breast cancer, African American women have higher overall mortality rates from breast cancer.6 Every year, 1,722 African American women die from breast cancer—an average of five African American women per day.

 

I am so very passionate about health and self-care, and I want to share that message and pass on what I’ve learned to my sisters. We have to begin taking responsibility for our health and wellbeing. I know, there are many obstacles that make doing so very difficult. However, small changes, made by each and every one of us can be the start of an entirely new way of living.

Let’s talk about health and wellness. Let’s be about health and wellness. It takes a village.

 

Dixie Lincoln- Nichols is a wife, mama, science educator, author, certified health coach and entrepreneur. Her work has been featured in media outlets like, Redbook, Natural Health, Instyle, Working Woman, Huffington Post, Essence Online, Tampa Tribune and more. She is currently the Chief Self-care Connoisseur and founder of I. O. Beauty Market, where she curates products that are free of toxic, harmful ingredients.

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