Health consequences of African Americans

Health consequences of African Americans

Presently, one out of every three Americans is African American, American Indian, Hispanic, Pacific Islander or Asian American. According to Dunlop et al (2003), there are predictions that by 2050 a large proportion of the American citizen will be made up of minorities. Evidence provided by this population demographic change therefore implies that there are more health consequences in the populace than economic due to citizens’ failure to stamp out longstanding inconsistency in health status and in their access to health care. In the past 50 years, the United States has recorded tremendous developments in an effort to ensure that improved health is available to all citizens of all ethnicities. In comparison to scenes of the early 1960s, the United States has made a lot of advances towards formulating plans to expand the access of healthcare to all citizens. According to Gans (1995), the wide access of health services to the disabled, the poor and the low-income was as a result of establishments made by Medicare, Medicaid, and the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Nonetheless, discrepancies in the healthcare system are still experienced among the different ethnicities in America. America appears to be betraying the very creed foundations that it was established on which is the equality for all its citizens. This founding tenet of fairness, observed that all citizens with the same health care needs are treated in the same way irrespective of their race. Ethnicity and racial discrimination exist along different groups. These prevalent biases are exhibited in health care service provisions. According to various reports from a number of studies by Whittle et al (1997), there are indications that people from minority ethnic groups as compared to their white counterparts endure the brunt disproportionately from high death rates and diseases like cardiovascular disorders, cancer, and HIV/AIDS. Extensively researched information collected from independent studies on health outcomes over the years indicated that African-American as compared to other American ethnic groups. In addition, African-Americans ethnic group has the highest cancer incidences rate while women of African-American ethnicity as compared to white women’s survival rate from breast cancer is half (Whittle et al 1997). Such discrepancies are ignored by the health care system due to health care’s inefficiency in addressing the underlying factors behind discrepancies. This lack of concern to address the discrepancies extends and propagates the widening gap between the major groups and the minority groups.

According to Ayanian et al (1995), in one of the studies, it was established that 16 percent of African-Americans and 17% of the Hispanic ethnicities were noted to exhibit fair or poor health, while only 10 percent of white origin reported the same. Besides, scientists in another study that was examining healthcare among children realized that as compared to white children, African-American children were less likely to access quality health care services (Ayanian et al 1999).

In a comparison that examined Native American infants as compared to white Americans and indigenous Alaskan infants conclusively established that the American children had lower mortality rates than the other two sets of children. Researchers in an evaluation chaired by Amal N. Trivedi, assistant professor at Brown University that was examining health inequalities, summarized that in spite of quality improvements; people of black origin do worse than whites when it came to controlling blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. The research investigated a total number of 430,000 patients from 151 strategically places. According to Maynard et al (1986), the evaluation noted that inequality was exhibited in all types of healthcare providers. In both high and low quality Medicare, this practice undercut the perception that blacks fare worse since they are accorded care from lower quality providers.

There were indications that cancer continues to be one of the most constant diseases among American people. Nonetheless, much has been done to make sure that patients are accorded the best of healthcare accessible.

However, it is overwhelming to note that these efforts have not erased the racial inequalities that are continuing to develop more roots in the American citizens. Garcia (2003) observes that findings made between 1992 and 2002, the U.S. black citizen has continued to get inferior cancer medication if compared to people of white ethnicity under the government insurance policy. Indicators show that these disparities have been committed at the same degree for a number of years is reality that reflects the severe fate that it has taken root in all areas of the medical fraternity. In a revitalizing scheme Aetna has been able to tackle these issues through radicalizing the whole healthcare system so as to modify resolutions that address health inequalities.

Potential factors that can lead to health disparities

Maynard et al (1986), although personal biases and racism have had roles to play, the study found that institutional and societal racism have widely accounted for these differences. People in the health care system who have experienced prejudices from certain races towards them also contribute to some of the racial disparities that happen in the health care system. Nonetheless, government and insurance cause major health inequalities on the level of race and ethnicity despite this institutions being significant in fighting against the disparity vice (Baker et al 1996). For instance, social factors of an individual based on economic status of the person determine the type of healthcare options available for the individual (Bonilla-Silva 1997).

Provider Factors

As Cumming and Lambert (1999) observe, in this evaluation the provider refers to the medical expert and how he offers the medical services to the patient. The medical professional’s sensitivity of racial and ethnic Minorities determines how they medicate their patients. These personnel’s attitude towards the Hispanic black and white American ethnicities establish the kind of healthcare service they will be given (Cummings and Lambert 1999). In a research done by the American cancer association, these providers’ attitude was identified as the leading cause of these inequalities that happened between the White and Black patients (McKinley et al 1997). Another research conducted between 1992 and 2002, the United States black citizen has continued to receive inferior cancer treatment compared to whites under the government insurance policy (Garcia 2003).

There are believes in patients that the healthcare system is highly prejudicial and biased. They believe that this is founded in order to take care of the needs of the majority and not the minority. Due to such belief people of black decent are more likely to avoid and cancel visiting a medical expert than any other race.

System Factors

According to McKinley (1997), treatment that a patient is accorded from the health system is referred to as system factors. This is normally is in reference to the value of healthcare that is provided to the different ethnic or races classes in a similar health system for the identical disease. For instance, in the medication of cancer, the national cancer association realized that although radiotherapy was fundamental in treating cancer, women of the African American ethnicity were less likely to be offered with as compared to their white colleagues. Besides, black Americans were most likely not to be referred to a medical expert for the same disease people of white were being referred for further attention. Such varying levels of attention are practices based on cultural competency within the health system whereby individuals are accorded different treatment on the basis of their race (McKinley 1997). Nonetheless, the health literacy among American citizens varies in different ethnic groups based on the different practices, peer or societal influences and also levels of education (Barzansky and Sylvia 2001). The African American decent has less interest in engaging in exercise activities and other preventive healthcare practices despite them leading in cases of hypertension, obesity as well as heart disease (Lanham 2000).