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Health Status of African Americans

Health Status of African Americans


                                                           Health Status of African Americans

Over a long time, most minority groups in the United States of America have experienced various discrimination and inequalities. They experience challenges ranging from job allocations and opportunities to the fundamental basic needs such as health services. In this essay, my selected group of ethnic minorities in the United States of America to discuss the African American community. The African Americans, or commonly referred to as the Afro-Americans or the Black Americans, are a specific ethnic group found in the United States. This group has either a partial or total ancestry from the racial groups found in Africa (Cherry, Powell-Young & Giger, 2020). They form the third largest ethnic group in the country after the whites and the Latino and Hispanic.

Currently, this ethnic group’s health status shows a higher prevalence of diabetes, cancer, other cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, sexually transmitted infections, and obesity compared to whites. The United States of America’s healthcare system has a significant inequality rate that significantly impacts African Americans and other people from minority ethnic origin (Colen et al., 2018). These practices significantly contribute to the gaps experienced in the health insurance coverages, difficulties in accessing services, and poor health results for this population.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) that began during the former president Barrack Obama’s administration has helped millions of Americans get health care coverage. The population of the uninsured African Americans went down after the implementation of this Act. From the 20 million people who gained this coverage, 1.2 million of them were African Americana. However, this population still holds the highest number of uninsured people than whites in the country. In 2018, the number of uninsured African Americans stood at 9.7% compared to 5.4% of the uninsured whites.

While there is an expansion in health care coverage under the ACA, the raised cost of living and other coverage options signifies that access to cheap and affordable health services remains a challenge for many African Americans. An average white family in the country spends 11% of the family income per annum on the premiums covering health care. Alternatively, an average African American family spends about 20% of their average family income on health care premiums (Colen et al., 2018). This cost difference is a significant blow to the community, considering the prevailing economic challenges and income inequalities practiced in the country.

This ethnic group also faces a significant amount of health disparities. For instance, in 2002, the number of blacks who died from HIV was ten times as many age-boosted years of possible deaths before 75 years per 100,000 white people. Blacks also experienced a high rate of homicides, diabetes, stroke, and other perinatal diseases compared to whites. Cancer is the second most recorded cause of death in the African American community (Ellis & Jacobs, 2021). Cancer is also common among black women compared to white women. From the evident practices, these health disparities have a significant adverse effect on this group of people who experience significant economic and social difficulties accessing health care services.

Other significant health disparities experienced by this demographic are the STI’s among the youth. Compared to the whites, African Americans were seven times more likely to suffer from Chlamydia than whites (Dutta et al., 2018). They were ten times more exposed to getting Gonorrhea and seven times the chances of contracting HIV. Infant mortality is another significant health disparity experienced by the blacks in the country. Babies born from an African mother were likely to die before turning a year old than those born from white mothers.

Various ethnic groups have more significant risks of developing certain diseases depending on their lifestyles, the readily available foods, cultures, and genres. The country’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified that the most common cause of death among the African American community were cancer and heart diseases. Black people also had higher chances of suffering from hypertension and obesity. Most African Americans preferred sugary foods and meaty foods with high calories (Ellis & Jacobs, 2021). These practices do not promote healthy eating habits. In return, this type of lifestyle has led to higher cases of cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and other heart-related diseases among this ethnic group. Research by the United States Department of Agriculture also noted that many blacks did not eat dark green leafy vegetables and deep yellow vegetables. That situation exposed them to a high risk of the mentioned diseases.

The most significant barriers to health for the blacks in the country from education, socioeconomics, and sociopolitical is the inequality and unfair distribution of resources. Most blacks in the country experience limited access to advanced learning opportunities; therefore, they lack chances to get better-paying jobs. Most of these people receive minimum wages that do not allow them to get better medical covers (Gaye et al., 2017). Additionally, they are mostly overlooked in political positions and failed to secure top positions that can enable them to fight for social equality. These barriers significantly affect the quality of health services that this ethnic group receives.

To tackle the health crisis among blacks, various health promotion activities are put in place for practice. They include an improved consumption of fruits and vegetables and cancer screening. Since blacks are the most prevalent group to suffer from cancer, these groups have promoted cancer screening among themselves (Henderson et al., 2018). This screening can detect the cancerous cells at an early stage, thus reducing the treatment extent. It also improves the chances of curing the disease. However, the screening rates for mostly diagnosed forms of cancer are lower among blacks than whites.

To prevent the prevalence of these diseases among African Americans, the state can implement various health promotion prevention measures. For the selected population, the best measure should be secondary prevention. Secondary preventive measures enable early diagnosis and treatment of an illness or disease. It prevents further development of health problems from the detected disease. Through this measure, the practitioners can assist these people in detecting these diseases early, thus handling them earlier. This plan is also beneficial to detect cancer and other heart-related diseases common among African Americans. These secondary preventive measures include breast-self examinations and screening, among others.

When creating a care plan, it is essential to consider various cultural beliefs and practices. For my selected group, it is essential to consider their beliefs and cultural practices. Most African Americans practice different religions; therefore, it is essential to consider religious practices. They also believe in traditional medicine; therefore, it would be essential to understand their use of these medicines before applying for modern medicine. People also have past traumas and personal experiences that affect their lives. It is, therefore, advisable to fully understand these types of patients before making a care plan. For African Americans, the best cultural model for their health care is the model of cultural competence (Piepoli, & Villani, 2017). This model provides various ongoing health processes that most practitioners strive to achieve. They promote the chances of the practitioners to work within the cultural contexts of their patients comfortably. This model offers the integration of different desires, cultural awareness, knowledge, and encounters that can significantly address the marginalized black community’s health issues.



Cherry, B., Powell-Young, Y., & Giger, J. N. (2020). African-Americans. Transcultural Nursing-E-Book: Assessment and Intervention, 160.

Colen, C. G., Ramey, D. M., Cooksey, E. C., & Williams, D. R. (2018). Racial disparities in health among nonpoor African Americans and Hispanics: The role of acute and chronic discrimination. Social Science & Medicine199, 167-180.

Dutta, M. J., Collins, W., Sastry, S., Dillard, S., Anaele, A., Kumar, R., … & Bonu, T. (2018). A culture-centred community-grounded approach to disseminating health information among African Americans. Health communication.

Ellis, C., & Jacobs, M. (2021). The Complexity of Health Disparities: More Than Just Black–White Differences. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, 1-10.

Gaye, A., Gibbons, G. H., Barry, C., Quarells, R., & Davis, S. K. (2017). Influence of socioeconomic status on the whole blood transcriptome in African Americans. PLoS One12(12), e0187290.

Henderson, S., Horne, M., Hills, R., & Kendall, E. (2018). Cultural competence in healthcare in the community: A concept analysis. Health & Social Care in the Community26(4), 590-603.

Piepoli, M. F., & Villani, G. Q. (2017). Lifestyle modification in secondary prevention. European journal of preventive cardiology24(3_suppl), 101-107.


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Select an ethnic minority group that is represented in the United States (American Indian/Alaskan Native, Asian American, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander). Using health information available from Healthy People, the CDC, and other relevant government websites, analyze the health status for this group.

In a paper of 1,000-1,250 words, compare and contrast the health status of your selected minority group to the national average. Include the following:

Describe the ethnic minority group selected. Describe the current health status of this group. How do race and ethnicity influence health for this group?
What are the health disparities that exist for this group? What are the nutritional challenges for this group?
Discuss the barriers to health for this group resulting from culture, socioeconomics, education, and sociopolitical factors.
What health promotion activities are often practiced by this group?
Describe at least one approach using the three levels of health promotion prevention (primary, secondary, and tertiary) that is likely to be the most effective in a care plan given the unique needs of the minority group you have selected. Provide an explanation of why it might be the most effective choice.
What cultural beliefs or practices must be considered when creating a care plan? What cultural theory or model would be best to support culturally competent health promotion for this population? Why?
Cite at least three peer-reviewed or scholarly sources to complete this assignment. Sources should be published within the last 5 years and appropriate for the assignment criteria and public health content.

Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.

This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful

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