5 Medical Conditions That Are More Common In Blacks
It is important to know some health risk factors associated with your race and ethnic background. There are some diseases that affect a particular ethnic or racial group. For example, sickle cell disease is commoner among blacks while breast cancer is commoner in whites. The more knowledge you have about your individual risk, the more equipped you will be to prevent and fight these diseases.Now let's go into details of these medical conditions more common in blacks with their prevention.
1. Sickle Cell Anemia
Approximately 1 in every 365 blacks has sickle cell disease. This means that they carry the trait that causes red blood cells to form a ‘sickle’ shape when under stress. However, sickle cell disease is not only seen among blacks.
The best way to prevent sickle cell anemia is by increasing education about how the disease occurs. It is a genetic disease that happens when two parents carrying the sickle cell trait produce an offspring. This is why it is always good to check your genotype.
If your genotype is not AA (AS or SS), it is recommended to have a child with someone whose genotype is AA. If not, there is a likelihood of having a child with SS genotype- which is sickle cell anemia.
Diabetes is more common among blacks than whites. Diabetes has serious complications such as leg amputations and kidney disease.
There are different risk factors for diabetes. The preventable risk factors include obesity, high cholesterol or triglyceride level, and hypertension.You can prevent diabetes by losing weight, involving in more physical activity and exercise. You can get a treadmill or elliptical for your home. Here’s a review of the best ellipticals.If you smoke, quit smoking and reduce alcohol intake. You can also cut out sugary foods and drinks. Reducing the consumption of refined grains like white bread and white rice is also a good step. It is important to avoid eating processed food instead of trying to cut out fat in foods like dairy. All these can be helpful in reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Strokes kill more blacks than whites. Blacks’ risk of stroke is almost double those of whites.
The best way to prevent stroke is by eating healthy food. You should also get involved in regular exercise. Also, avoid smoking and drinking too much alcohol to prevent a stroke.
Lifestyle modification is helpful in reducing the risk of problems like atherosclerosis and high blood pressure that can cause a stroke.
Cancer treatment is statistically effective for blacks, even than any other racial group. It, however, kills blacks more. Black men have a 40% higher mortality rate from cancer than in white men. Black women have a 20% higher mortality rate from cancer than in white women.Skin cancer is preventable by avoiding the mid-day sun. You can stay out of the sun when the sun rays are strong. Staying in the shade and use of sunglasses can help too. Some cancer can be prevented by getting protected from some viral infections. Consult your doctor about vaccines against some cancers. Hepatitis B is a risk factor for developing liver cancer, there is a vaccine for it.Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted infection that can cause cervical cancers. You can get a vaccine against these viruses. Practice safe sex and reduce the number of sexual partners. Get regular health screening for different types of cancers like skin cancer, cancer of the cervix and breast. A regular examination will increase your chance of discovering cancer on time. Getting early treatment is the best option for cancer.
Blacks commonly develop high blood pressure than other racial groups. About 42% of black men and 45% of black women develop hypertension in their twenties.
It’s important to note that genetics is a risk factor for diabetes and hypertension. Some diseases have environmental and social factors as the risk factor. Eating a healthy meal and snack can help in preventing high blood pressure and its complications. Eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Eat food low in salt and high in potassium will help in preventing high blood pressure. Also, getting involved in physical activity will help you in maintaining a healthy weight and lower your blood pressure.
Living a healthy lifestyle by eating a healthy diet, involving in exercise, losing weight and going for regular check-ups will go a long way in preventing most of these diseases. See your doctor early when you notice any change while doing a self-examination.