Black Male Health Is Suffering
When it comes to overall health statistics in the U.S., Black men suffer the most. More than Black women, Caucasians, Hispanics and Asians. While negative health stats are a precursor to several other problems within the Black community, the health of Black men has reached the top-spot of social issues. But why do such grim statistics plague the African-American male?
It is widely accepted that the reasons for these negative health statistics, although complex, include a number of factors. Some of these are poverty, a lack of affordable healthcare and health services, fear, racial discrimination, inadequate health education, employment without health insurance, and insufficient medical and social services that cater specifically to African American men.
African-American men are infamous for not seeking or following up medical and/or health appointments. Over 65% of Black men say that they have not been treated or seen by a medical doctor in years, with 3+ years being the average amount of time. Most Black men have been socially reared to believe that pain, or showing signs of pain, denotes weakness. This affects the male psyche and is the root cause of men not seeking routine exams, or other types of medical attention.
As a result of staying away from the doctor for extended periods, these stats offer a sobering view of where Black men are:
- Black men live 7.5 years less than other racial groups
- Black men have higher death rates than women, for all leading causes of death
- Black men are 3 times less likely to have routine medical checkups than Black women
- Black men have a higher rate of death from oral cancer than other racial groups
- 40% of Black men die prematurely from cardiovascular disease as compared to 22% of Caucasian men
- African American men are 5 times more likely to die of HIV/AIDS
These aren't the only grim stats. Many Black men are considered overweight, have a higher incidence of diabetes and prostate cancer than other races, and suffer more from preventable oral diseases.
Many of these negative health stats can be sidetracked or reduced by seeking more medical attention, and actively engaging in routine exercise. Black men who do not currently exercise at least three days a week, may be prolonging current health problems.
With adequate exercise, a proper diet, and routine medical examinations, African-American men can reverse the negative health trends that plague them and the Black community.