Health status of the African Americans

Comparing and Contrasting the Health Status of the African Americans to the United States’ National Average
The Health Status of the African Americans
The health status of the African Americans in the United States is affected by the factors that determine their health and any intervention that would target the determinants is likely to be effective in improving their health. HealthyPeople.gov (2019a) constructs that a range of factors, which include socioeconomic, environmental, and personal factors influence health status of people. The interrelationship between social factors, policymaking, genetics, individual behavior, and health services determine the health status of a group of people. That is, factors such as education, environment, housing, agriculture, and others have an effect on people’s health.
According to CDC (2017a), in the United States, the African Americans are now having a longer life expectancy than it was about two decades ago but for the elderly people aged 65years and above. However, life expectancy is becoming short especially for the younger people (aged between 20 and 50years) as many of them are suffering from chronic illnesses commonly found in older white persons. That is said to happen because the chronic conditions are developing in people at an earlier stage than it was in the past. The situation is common among the African Americans because of the imposed social and economic conditions.
Due to the discrimination against the minority ethnic groups as HealthyPeople.gov (2019b) writes, African Americans have struggled with poverty conditions since they live in impoverished residential places whose environment is also harmful to their health. Table 1 below illustrates the data gathered by CDC (2017b).
Health status of people from 18years and above
In percentage
Number of persons in poor health
13.4%
Number of people smoking behaviors
34.6%
Obesity
93.6%
Hypertension
84.5%

Table 1 showing the general health conditions of young African Americans from the age of 18years and above (CDC, 2017b)
CDC (2017b) records that only 11.1% of African Americans that is below 65years need health insurance coverage. Nevertheless, heart disease, stroke, and cancer are the major life threatening diseases in the population where for every 100,000people, there about 776 deaths reported.
Comparing and contrasting the health status of the African Americans to the national average
The prevalence of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart diseases, hypertension, sexually transmitted diseases, and obesity are higher in the African American population than it is among the whites, and the Hispanics (HHS.gov, 2019). According to HHS.gov (2019), the population of the African Americans in the United States reached 40.7million in 2015. The blacks’ population is second after the Hispanic population, which is the largest minority ethnic group. Nevertheless, the health status of the Hispanic population is better than that of the African Americans and even the whites (HHS.gov, 2019).
How race and ethnicity influence health for the African Americans
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), any variation in health outcomes of different groups of people reflects the existing degree of social discrimination. Social discrimination against a certain group is said to refer to the poor economic, political, and social conditions that it faces because of its social position in the society (Fiscella & Sanders, 2019). Table 2 below illustrates the social position of the African Americans in the United States, which eventually affects their health outcomes.
Indicator
Compared to other ethnic groups
Family Income level
The lowest
Educational level
Compared to the Hispanics, blacks are more educated than they are.

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Spending
Blacks spend the least in all household expenditures
Homeownership
Most of the blacks live in rented houses which is the same as the Hispanics
Occupation
Blacks are mostly do agricultural jobs
Food
Blacks spend more on alcoholic drinks unlike the Hispanics, and other ethnic groups that spend more on fresh fruits

Table 2 showing the impacts of the African American’s social position on their health outcomes (Noel, 2018)
Noel (2018) establishes that in the United States, the gap between people with low and high levels of income is wide and it is continuing to widen. Nationally, the African Americans are listed as the population that has the lowest family income level as illustrated by Table 2 above. Therefore, this population is likely to have the worst health outcomes than any other ethnic group in the country.
MedlinePlus (2019) informs that the health status of different ethnic groups in the United States varies in terms of environmental and cultural factors, genetics, and access to health care. Racial and ethnic differences are factors that have a strong impact on the lives of people in the United States even in the healthcare system regardless of the efforts employed to promote health equality across the country. On this basis, the health status of the minority ethnic and racial groups is characterized by increasing cases of chronic diseases and premature deaths unlike the health situation in the majority ethnic groups where the youths are living longer than the elderly are.
HealthyPeople.gov (2019b) elaborates to establish how ethnic and racial differences affect the health status of different groups of people in the United States. In 2014, there were communities that were categorized as minority ethnic groups and this social structure reinforced discriminative practices that work to protect the interests of the majority ethnic groups mostly at the expense of the minority ones. In regards to the healthcare industry, discrimination against the minority groups is demonstrated by limiting the resources needed to ensure easy access to quality healthcare and to promote good health.
Generally, discrimination against the minority ethnic groups leads to poverty (HealthyPeople.gov, 2019b). Poverty in the United States is defined in terms of people’s socioeconomic status, which is indicated by education level, income level, and employment status. Socioeconomic status is positively related to people’s health outcomes. Minority ethnic groups are the communities that are at a higher risk of contracting diseases and facing premature death. That is because, these people live in impoverished residential places, which attract poor quality of life and reduce life expectancy. In such places, exposure to chronic diseases such as obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart diseases exist because of poor education and low family income levels (HealthyPeople.gov, 2019c). HealthyPeople.gov (2019d) adds that the environmental conditions which are comprised of contaminated drinking water, air pollution, and intensive heat are harmful to human beings also worsen the situation since they are common in impoverished places.
The health disparities that exists for the African Americans and their nutritional challenges
From Table 2 above, it is clear that the African Americans are ranked at the lowest social position in the American society. The social position has caused them to be discriminated in terms of employment where they are poorly paid. Low income levels make the blacks become unable to- live in favorable environmental conditions, afford nutritious foods, gain an easy access to quality healthcare and other basic needs. In this regard, most of the African Americans are developing chronic conditions at a very early stage in their lives and are not able to treat them leading to premature deaths (Fiscella & Sanders, 2019, Noel, 2018)
The barriers to health for the African Americans resulting from culture, social economics, education, and sociopolitical factors
HealthyPeople.gov (2019a) mentions the following barriers. In terms of healthcare services, the services are not available and are not affordable to the African Americans. The physicians on the other hand, are not culturally sensitive and there is a language barrier. In terms of education, African Americans cannot access quality education they need to practice self-healthcare.
Identifying and improving the Health promotion activities that are often practiced by the African Americans
Noel (2018) conveys that the African Americans mostly take advantage of their educational efforts to educate each other and to offer healthcare as much as they can. The most effective care plan that can address the healthcare needs of the African Americans is changing public policies that are associated with their social position. The African Americans need a fair pay just as other ethnic groups have to lead a healthy lifestyle (HealthyPeople.gov, 2019a). That is because, a better pay would help them afford quality healthcare and quality education.
The cultural practices that must be considered in the care plan and the cultural model to support the health promotion activities for the African Americans
AHRQ (2014) asserts that in an effort to achieve equity in health care and to reduce health disparities, cultural competence is necessary. Cultural competence enables the healthcare system to be culturally sensitive when providing quality and equitable healthcare. Due to the prevalence of chronic illnesses among the African Americans, physicians need to respect how the chronic conditions affect the population spiritually and offer holistic care that the patients need to cope with the conditions and to heal quickly (Spruill, Magwood, Nemeth, and Williams, 2015; Gollust, Cunningham, Bokhour, Gordon, Pope, Saha, Jones, Do, and Burgess, 2018).

References
AHRQ (2014). Effective health care program: Improving cultural competence to reduce health disparities for priority populations. Retrieved< https://effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/topics/cultural-competence/research-protocol>.
CDC (2017). African American health. Retrieved< https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/aahealth/index.html>.
CDC (2017). Health of black or African American non-Hispanic population. Retrieved< https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/black-health.htm>.
Fiscella, K. & Sanders, M. R. (2019). Racial and ethnic disparities in the quality of healthcare. Retrieved< https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/full/10.1146/annurev-publhealth-032315-021439>.
Gollust, S. E., Cunningham, B. A., Bokhour, B. G, Gordon, H. S., Pope, C., Saha, S.S., Jones, D. M., Do, T., and Burgess, D. J. (2018). What causes racial health care disparities? A mixed-methods study reveals variability in how health care providers perceive causal attributions. Journal of Health Care Organization, Provision, and Financing. Retrieved< https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0046958018762840>.
HealthyPeople.gov (2019). Determinants of health. Retrieved< https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/about/foundation-health-measures/determinants-of-health>.
HealthyPeople.gov (2019). Discrimination. Retrieved< https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/social-determinants-health/interventions-resources/discrimination>.
HealthyPeople.gov (2019). Poverty. Retrieved< https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/social-determinants-health/interventions-resources/poverty>.
HealthyPeople.gov (2019). Environmental conditions. Retrieved< https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/social-determinants-health/interventions-resources/environmental>.
HHS.gov (2019). African American profile. Retrieved< https://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=3&lvlID=61>.
MedlinePlus (2019). African American health. Retrieved< https://medlineplus.gov/africanamericanhealth.html>.
Noel, R. A. (2018). Race, economics, and social status. Retrieved< https://www.bls.gov/spotlight/2018/race-economics-and-social-status/pdf/race-economics-and-social-status.pdf>.
Spruill, I. J., Magwood, G. S., Nemeth, L. S., and Williams, T. H. (2015). African Americans’ culturally specific approaches to the management of diabetes. Global Qualitative Nursing Research. Doi: 10. 1177/2333393614565183. Retrieved< https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4868398/>.

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