Health Inequalities

Health Inequalities



Health Inequalities

The following program is aimed at promoting healthy behaviors in the face of prevailing health inequalities in the society. In order to develop this program, we shall lay emphasis on one of the prevalent chronic illness among various groups in the society, their causes and how this can be corrected. In this program, we shall focus on the population of the diabetic female African Americans. The program is designed at promoting healthy behaviors in prevention of diabetes in this population that has a high risk of diabetes infection. The women in this program are between the ages of 20 and 60 years. The morbidity rate of this group demonstrates that in every 4 African American women older than 55, have diabetes, and among 20 years or older African Americans, 11.8 % of women have diabetes. Mortality rates among this group as a result of diabetes indicate that, though they represent 13 % of the female population in America, the African-American women account for 23% percent of diabetes related deaths among all the women in the U.S (Krishnan, Cozier, Rosenberg & Palmer, 2013).

Race and gender is intertwined with the social economic status of African American women which have had a profound effect on their health status. Race is seen as a determining factor in the outcomes of their socioeconomic status. The consequences of their segregation as a minority group due to gender and race, compounded with gender have led to low economic development, low educational levels achievements and poor health (Hayward & Seaman, 2004). Efforts towards solving the prevailing socioeconomic inequalities and its correlates, for instance, racial or ethnic discrimination will reduce the gaps in socioeconomic statuses in the U.S and hence prevent the ensuing detrimental effects, when it comes to issues like health.

The low socioeconomic status of the African-American women shapes their health behaviors, such as, access to health care, health education, and increased stress levels. Their race in this case is in relation to their social economic status and, therefore, their lower economic status coupled with increase in chronic stress lead to health problems. The low socioeconomic status is also associated with a poor diet and poor health care (Hayward & Seaman, 2004). Addressing the existing differences in social class is important in understanding the racial inequalities prevalent in health care and health behaviors. As a result of their segregation, many African American women have a low economic status and are continuously at the risk of health care concerns. Their low socioeconomic status has fatal consequences in determining their health status, and access to both health care and insurance, or even lacking it at times. The association between socioeconomic status and both racism and gender, is further exhibited by the existence of a restricted socioeconomic development for the Africa American women, considering that they are a minority group in America (Hayward & Seaman, 2004).

A relation also exists between socioeconomic status and the environment that African-American women live in, which is associated to the occurrence of diabetes. The effect of such environments is seen through the sources of chronic stress from environmental factors, such as, noise, poverty and violence. Adverse housing conditions to such women are also contributors towards increased risks of diabetes due to stress (Krishnan, et al. 2013). High levels of diabetes prevalence in African American women are thus as a result of the prevailing risk factors leading to the disease, among them socioeconomic status. In order to eliminate health inequalities, lifting and bridging the socioeconomic gap between these African American women and the whites is critical, and consequently promotes their health behaviors.

Various services aimed at promoting healthy behaviors among African American women should be considered in order to achieve these objectives. The use of the transcendental meditation technique greatly reduces the stress levels and consequently improves the prevailing dyslipidemia condition (the most common complication in diabetes characterized by abnormal amounts of liquids such as cholesterol) (Rosenthal, 2012). Dyslipidemia is characterized by low levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL) or needed cholesterol whereby, the use of the transcendental meditation technique leads to an increase in HDL cholesterol. Stress reduction through the use of this method is both practicable and effective when it comes to the reduction of diabetic dyslipidemia in African American women. It can also be used as an essential part of these women’s lifestyle modification program, and for continued improvement of diabetic dyslipidemia. It’s worth noting that most of the African American women suffering from any type of diabetes are mostly under psychological stress. The combination of the transcendental meditation program with some changes to the diet and adequate exercise may go further to producing immense benefits (Rosenthal, 2012).

The reason behind the use of this method on this group is that African American women are under constant pressure with regards to their low socioeconomic status in the society. As such, they need to overcome stress and its effects such as diabetes. It’s essential to note that this service is customized for African American women considering that its viability was first tested on these women (Rosenthal, 2012). As such, the technique hopes to achieve its objectives of developing healthy behavior and practices among African American women, in order to reduce the diabetes disease in this group.


Hayward, M & Seaman, T. (2004) NCBI: Race/Ethnicity, Socioeconomic Status, and Health. Retrieved on Feb. 20, 2013. < >

Krishnan, S. Cozier, Y. Rosenberg, L. & Palmer, J. (2013). Socioeconomic Status and Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes: Results From the Black Women’s Health Study. American Journal of Epidemiology. 171. 564-570

Rosenthal, N. E. (2012). Transcendence: Healing and transformation through transcendental meditation. London: Hay House.