The health of different communities can be affected by different factors. Socio-political, socioeconomic, cultural, and biological differences can cause specific illnesses to be more or less prevalent in any given community. While my community is predominantly white, it contains a relatively large African American minority group. This paper will provide an overview of the prevalent issues and diseases that this community experiences and how my practice could be changed to address them.
My community consists of around 70% whites and 20% African Americans, with Hispanic and Asian populations making up the remaining 10%. Each group experiences its own prevalent conditions and illnesses. However, some diseases overlap and affect all of the people living in the area. In the white community, more than 38% of men and women over the age of 20 are living with obesity and hypertension, which is a higher rate than average throughout the country.
The lack of an active lifestyle and unhealthy dietary choices has been cited as the main factors behind this condition. A similar issue is present in the African American community, with 45% of men and women over the age of 20 being affected by these conditions. The higher rates of occurrence can be explained by the increased unemployment among the African American population of the area.
More than 10% of the African Americans living in the community are unemployed, which exacerbates the issue (“African American health,” 2017). The leading causes of death for both communities are also similar to heart disease and strokes being most common. However, the white population is more affected by chronic lower respiratory disease while the African American community more commonly experiences cancer.
The current medical practice in the community is not capable of addressing all of the examined factors, and therefore it needs to be changed. The main stressors in the community are caused by poverty, unemployment, and unhealthy lifestyles. While unemployment cannot be solved through the means of medical practice, other issues and the consequences of unemployment can be addressed. It would be important to create an intervention program that would provide health screenings for heart conditions and hypertension for free or at a reduced price to allow the populations living in poverty to be aware of their conditions.
Then they would be educated on how the diseases can be avoided or treated, preferably in home environments and without the need for expensive pharmacological products. For example, dietary suggestions and training regimens would be described to people of both white and African American communities. Local gyms and food markets should be contacted to create possible partnerships that would allow the purchase of memberships and healthy products at a reduced price to those who come to the screening. While this is not an easy task, it is possible to persuade both to help the community for positive publicity and expansion of their customer base. Both facilities have shown to be effective ways of combating these conditions (Larsson, Åkesson, & Wolk, 2014; Mushtaq & Najam, 2014).
The issues of my community are slightly more common than the average reported by CDC. Heart disease and hypertension are present in both white and African American communities, with differences in factors that cause those conditions. However, the present medical practice does not properly address those issues. I propose the creation of a new local program that would focus on addressing them. It should allow those who often cannot afford medical services to be aware of how their conditions can be dealt with.
African American health. (2017). Web.
Larsson, S. C., Åkesson, A., & Wolk, A. (2014). Healthy diet and lifestyle and risk of stroke in a prospective cohort of women. Neurology, 83(19), 1699–1704. Web.
Mushtaq, M., & Najam, N. (2014). Depression, anxiety, stress and demographic determinants of hypertension disease. Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences, 30(6), 1293–1298. Web.