(ThySistas.com) Being a African-American women in today’s society definitely comes with its share of struggles but let me begin by saying I would not change the essence of who we are as magical black women for anything. Still, it is unfortunate that black women are plagued disproportionately with higher incidences or mortality rates for various health conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.
While it can be scary, knowledge is power, especially where the physical and mental health of our mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, sister friends, etc. are concerned. The majority of the black community is aware of the effects of high blood pressure and diabetes, listed are 4 health conditions that black women should be aware of.
1. Breast Cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, black women have a 1 in 9 chance of developing breast cancer, whereas for white women the odds are 1 in 8. Black women also have a higher probability of dying from breast cancer. The odds are 1 in 37 for white women, while black women are 1 in 31. Adrienne Phillips, M.D., oncologist at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian stating “The reasons why black women are more likely to die [from breast cancer than other groups] are very complex, citing an interplay between genetics, biology, and environment”.
2. Mental Health Issues. The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health stated, “black people are 10% more likely to report experiencing serious psychological distress than white people”. African-American women tend to wrestle with their mental health. Higher feelings of hopelessness, sadness, worthlessness and the sense that everything is an effort, is more present in black women than white women. Traditionally, black women are the pillars of the family and community, often taking care of everyone’s health except their own.
3. Sexually Transmitted Diseases. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) stated that the reported cases of chlamydia in black people decreased 11.2% from 2011 until 2015. Black women currently outpace other groups when it comes to new diagnoses of chlamydia and syphilis. This is not because black women are having more sex than anyone else but rather that access to preventive care from health care providers on a regular basis and sexual health education is limited with the black community. Besides black men, black women are contracting a majority of new HIV/AIDS diagnoses per year. In 2015, the CDC said 4,524 black women were diagnosed with HIV in the United States, compared to 1,431 white women and 1,131 Hispanic/Latina women.
4. Heart Disease. African-American women have an estimated 40% chance of having heart disease or stroke, for Hispanic women the likelihood of having heart disease or a stroke is 30%. It is estimated that 80% of the risk factors associated with women and heart disease, such as obesity, lack of physical activity, and high blood pressure, can be managed with lifestyle changes and risk factor control.
As African-American any illness or disease that affects us is a threat to not only ourselves, but our family and community. It is imperative for women of color to nurture and wholly care for themselves. It is we who nurture our families with love, support and faith.
Staff Writer; Dina Tuff
333rd Eye Healing Temple
Reconnecting Consciousness to Magick
Official Website; http://www.333rdeyehealing.com