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African Americans: A Health Snapshot

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African Americans: A Health Snapshot

October 03, 2008

The health concerns of African-Americans are varied and critical. African-American men have the highest death rate of all racial and ethnic groups, male and female. The 10 leading causes of death for African-Americans are: heart disease; cancer; stroke; diabetes; unintentional injuries; homicide; nephritis, nephritic syndrome and nephrosis; chronic lower respiratory disease; HIV/AIDS and septicemia. There is also a high prevalence of hypertension, infant mortality and tuberculosis. Nearly 20 percent of African-Americans were uninsured in 2007, compared to more than 10 percent of non-Hispanic whites, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services' Office of Minority Health. This makes it difficult for some to obtain needed care. Blacks are also less likely than whites to have job-based insurance and are more likely to rely on public services. The 41 million African-Americans in the United States constitute 13.5 percent of the population, according to a 2007 estimate by the Office of Minority Health. They are distributed throughout the United States, with the greatest concentrations in the Southeast and mid-Atlantic regions. Updated March 2010

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