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Black History Month & Health

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health (OMH) honors the rich heritage and diversity of African Americans during Black History Month. During the month of February, the OMH would like to promote awareness on the effects of diseases that impact the African America community, such as cardiovascular and sickle cell diseases.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:  

  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for people of most ethnicities in the United States, including African Americans, Hispanics, and Caucasians.

  • Nearly half of all African American adults have some form of cardiovascular disease, 47.7 percent of females and 46.0 percent of males.

  • African Americans ages 35-64 years are 50% more likely to have high blood pressure than Caucasians.

  • Sickle Cell Disease occurs among 1 out of every 365 African American births, and about 1 in 13 African American babies is born with sickle cell trait (SCT).

Below are some statistics on health disparities that effect the African American community:

- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) African Americans Heart Disease and Stroke Fact Sheet

- CDC Health Disparities in HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STDs, and TB

- CDC Health of African American non-Hispanic Population

- CDC Vital Signs: African American Health

- Office of Minority Health (OMH) Minority Population Profile: Black/African Americans

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