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Last Modified: February 1, 2007
Last Reviewed: Februaary 1, 2007
Content Source:
Office of Minority Health & Health Disparities (OMHD)


Highlights in Minority Health
& Health Disparities
February, 2007
African American History Month
 

FEBRUARY 2007 IS AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH
   
blue triangle Introduction blue triangle Programs & Accomplishments
blue triangle Examples of Important Health Disparities    Table 1 blue triangle For More Information
blue triangle Promising Intervention Strategies blue triangle Notes     Sources
   
During National African American History Month, we honor the heritage and accomplishments of African Americans and recognize their extraordinary contributions to the United States.1  According to the 2000 U.S. Census, those who identify as Black or African American (alone or in combination with another race) constitute approximately 12.9% of the American population -- about 36.4 million individuals.2  The Census Bureau projects that by the year 2050 there will be more than 60 million African American individuals in the United States, comprising 14.6% of the population.3

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EXAMPLES OF IMPORTANT HEALTH DISPARITIES
  Racial and Ethnic
  red arrow In 2003, African Americans had the highest age-adjusted all-causes rate of all races/ethnicities.  In addition, African Americans had the highest age-adjusted death rate for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and HIV/AIDS.4

Table 1:
2003 Age-Adjusted Death Rates
for Selected Causes of Death, per 100,000 Population

  All Populations African Americans Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders % Relative Disparity
All Causes 832.7 1,065.9 465.7 128.9%
Heart Disease 232.3 300.2 127.6 135.3%
Cancer 190.1 233.3 113.5 105.6%
Diabetes 25.3 49.2 17.3 184.4%
HIV/AIDS 4.7 21.3 0.7 2,942.8%

4

  red arrow In 2004, non-Hispanic black persons were less likely than non-Hispanic white persons to have received a flu shot during the past 12 months (Non-Hispanic black: 32.9%; Non-Hispanic white: 50.9%), and were also less likely to have ever received a pneumococcal vaccination (Non-Hispanic black: 38.6%; Non-Hispanic white: 60.9%).5
  red arrow During 2001-2004, 68% of all women reported with AIDS were African American; among men, just under half (44%) of the new cases of HIV and AIDS were in African Americans.6
  red arrow In 2004, of African Americans were more likely to be obese* than AAPIs (African American: 33.6%; AAPI: 6.8%), a relative disparity of  394.1%.  African American women are particularly impacted, with 39.0% of African American women obese in 2004.7
  red arrow Lupus is three times more common in African American women than in white women.  African American women tend to develop symptoms at an earlier age than other women, and have more severe organ problems, especially with their kidneys. 8

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PROMISING INTERVENTION STRATEGIES
Eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in health will require enhanced efforts at preventing disease, promoting health and delivering appropriate care. This will necessitate improved collection and use of standardized data to correctly identify all high risk populations and monitor the effectiveness of health interventions targeting these groups.9
Eliminating health disparities will also require new knowledge about the determinants of disease, causes of health disparities, and effective interventions for prevention and treatment. It will also require improving access to the benefits of society, including quality preventive and treatment services, as well as innovative ways of working in partnership with health care systems, State and local governments, tribal governments, academia, national and community-based organizations, and communities.9
Culturally appropriate, community-driven programs are critical for eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in health. For these programs to be effective, prevention research is needed to identify the causes of health disparities and the best means of delivering preventive and clinical services. Establishing these programs will also require new and innovative partnerships among federal, state, local, and tribal governments and communities.10

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PROGRAMS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS
CDCís Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities (OMHD)
  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, (HHS) created the Office of Minority Health in 1985 as a result of the Report of the Secretary's Task Force on Black and Minority Health  which revealed large and persistent gaps in health status among Americans of different racial and ethnic groups. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created its own Office of Minority Health (OMH) in 1988 in response to the same report. Congress passed the ďDisadvantaged Minority Health Act of 1990Ē in order to improve the health status of underserved populations, including racial and ethnic minorities.11
CDC/ATSDR Minority Initiatives Coordinating Committee (CAMICC)
  CAMICC coordinates all the Health and Human Services (HHS) departmental minority health initiatives within CDC/ATSDR, including activities which target all racial and ethnic groups. CAMICC meets monthly to discuss progress in implementing the plans. The committee is comprised of representatives from CDC Centers, Institute, and Offices (CIOs) and ATSDR.12
  CAMICC was charged by the CDC Director in 2000 to coordinate CDC/ATSDR's agency-wide activities relative to minority health, provide guidance and policy direction for minority health initiatives, serve as an advisor to the Director of CDC/ATSDR on matters relative to minority health and provide leadership in developing and implementing plans to improve minority health nationally.12
Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH)
  REACH 2010 is one of the cornerstones of CDCís efforts to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health. Launched in 1999, REACH 2010 is designed to eliminate disparities in the following six priority areas: cardiovascular disease, immunizations, breast and cervical cancer screening and management, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and infant mortality.13
Healthy People 2010
  The Healthy People Initiative has been the Nation's prevention and health promotion agenda for the last two decades. Healthy People 2010 is designed to achieve two overarching goals:
     1) Increase quality and years of healthy life;
     2) Eliminate health disparities.
The CDC and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (CDC/ATSDR) has lead or co-lead responsibility for 18 of the 28 (64 percent) Healthy People 2010 focus areas, including all six areas identified in the HHS initiative to eliminate health disparities:
  blue sphere Infant Mortality
  blue sphere Deficits in Breast & Cervical Cancer Screening & Management
  blue sphere Cardiovascular Diseases
  blue sphere Diabetes
  blue sphere HIV Infections/AIDS
  blue sphere Child and Adult Immunizations.11

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FOR MORE INFORMATION
  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
    Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities (OMHD)
      Black or African American Populations
    National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)
      Health of Black or African American Population
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
  Healthfinder: Blacks or African Americans
  Office of Minority Health (OMH)
    African American Profiles
  National Womenís Health Information Center (NWHIC)
    Health Problems in African American Women
  Surgeon Generalís Report: Mental Health: Culture, Race, Ethnicity
    Fact Sheet: African Americans
  Administration on Aging (AOA)
    African-American History Month: February 2006
  National Institutes of Health (NIH)
    National Library of Medicine
      Medline Plus: African American Health
U.S. Census Bureau
  Facts for Features: African-American History Month: February 2006
  US Census 2000 Brief: The Black Population
  US Census Bureau, African-American History Month, 50 Years of Change February 2004
Non-Federal Government Links (see "Please Note" at bottom of page)
  National Black Womenís Health Project (NBWHP)

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NOTES
* Obesity is indicated by a BMI greater than or equal to 30.0..8

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SOURCES
1. The White House, National African American History Month, 2004
2. U.S. Census Bureau, The Black Population: 2000
3. Projected Population of the United States, by Race and Hispanic Origin: 2000-2050
4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Health United States, 2006, Table 29
5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Health United States, 2006, Table 83
6. CDC, HIV/AIDS Web Topic: The Impact on African Americans, 1/2007
7. CDC, Vital & Health Statistics, Series 10, No.228, May, 2006, Summary Health Statistics for U.S. Adults, National Health Interview Survey, 2004, Table 31
8. HHS, National Womens Health Information Center (NWHIC)Website, Topic: Lupus, September, 2003.
9. CDC, OMHD, Eliminating Racial & Ethnic Health Disparities, 2005
10. CDC, OMHD, Disease Burden & Risk Factors, 2005
11. CDC, OMHD, About Minority Health, 2005
12. CDC, OMHD, CDC/ATSDR Minority Initiatives Coordinating Committee (CAMICC), 2005
13. CDC, Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH 2010): Addressing Disparities in Health, 2005

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