Heart Failure in the Black Community: What African-Americans Need to Know

The liver can regenerate. A lost arm or leg can be replaced with a man-made prosthetic. But the heart cannot be so easily fixed. Heart cells do not regenerate or repair themselves. And while artificial hearts do exist, they can only be used for a short period. Because the heart cannot be easily repaired or replaced, heart failure is a serious issue. African-Americans are more likely to experience heart failure and more likely to die from it. Heart failure does not mean that the heart has stoppe

Why are Black Women Suffering from PTSD?

When post-traumatic stress disorder is discussed, images of broken, injured soldiers returning from combat frequently come to mind. But PTSD is not limited to the military.  According to the American Psychological Association, “PTSD does not just happen to combat veterans. PTSD can occur in all people, in people of any ethnicity, nationality or culture, and any age.” African-American women are no exception. Recently, The Chicago Tribune reported that researchers from Northwestern University had

Why Are Black Children Committing Suicide?

For years, most thought that suicide was not a serious problem in the African-American community. Indeed, overall, the total suicide rate for African-Americans is half the rate of whites. However, this low rate is misleading because the suicide rate for Black youth is rising rapidly. A 2015 study from Dr. Jeffrey Bridge of the Nationwide Children’s’ Hospital was one of the first to identify the disturbing new trend. Bridge’s work analyzed suicide rates for children ages 5 to 11. The results wer

How Racism Causes Child Birth to be a Death Sentence for Black Mothers

The birth of a baby is usually a joyous occasion for the entire family. New parents spend months carefully picking out furniture, toys, books, and clothes for the infant. Family and friends throw baby showers to support the expecting parents. If all goes well, after nine long months, the parents will enter the hospital and leave a few days later with a new baby to love. Sadly, for too many African-American mothers, all does not go well. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventio

To Hit or Not to Hit: Spanking in the African-American Community

For decades, spanking has created controversy among parents, pediatricians, and researchers. Since the 1970s, researchers have repeatedly cautioned that spanking has little if any benefit to children. Despite the dire warnings from professionals, parents continue to spank their children. Although spanking’s popularity has dropped over the past 30 years, it remains a common practice. Because childhood experiences can impact a child well into adulthood, parents and professionals are concerned abo

No Ifs, Ands, or Butts: Black People Shouldn’t Smoke

Former President Barack Obama is one of the most admired men in the world. However, there is one thing about him that is not admirable: his smoking habit. Although the president reportedly has kicked the habit, he — and all African-Americans — should know that smoking is particularly hazardous to our health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States. CDC reports indicate that smoking causes nea

Are Black People Giving ADHD Enough Attention?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder can create emotional, social, and educational problems for children with the disorder. ADHD often leaves African-American parents of affected children fighting many battles simultaneously. On one front, the parents of African-American children with ADHD fight to get their children proper diagnoses and treatment. If successful, those parents are invited to the next battle: getting their child the necessary help. There is also a fear that the diagnosis is

Obesity, Hunger: Two Sides of Same Coin in Black Food Deserts

America is in the midst of an obesity crisis.  The most recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that nearly 40 percent of American adults and 20 percent of American children are obese. As with some other illnesses within the United States, race shapes the contours of the obesity epidemic. Obesity disproportionately affects African-Americans. According to the CDC, the rate of obesity in African-American adults is nearly 1.5 times that of whites. The s

Racial Segregation and How It Impacts the Health of Poor Americans

Home is where the heart is, but it is also where the health is. Last week, researchers at Princeton released a study that found that poor Black neighborhoods produce children (whether Black or not) with a higher risk of asthma than children in other neighborhoods. The study findings prove, yet again, that racism in housing markets has a negative effect on African-American health. It is the environment, not race, that causes these health issues. A study of Baltimore residents found that whites l