Afro-American Community’s Cultural & Health Needs

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Community Cultural Need

The specific culture or ethnic population selected

The specific cultural population selected for this paper is the Afro-American group. This ethnic group is especially prone to developing obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure due to their environment and certain health practices (Long et al., 2017). This phenomenon is often linked with the socio-economic class disparity, with more affordable food in the US often being less healthy (Long et al., 2017). Additionally, the average diet of African Americans comprises more carbohydrates and fats than that of other ethnicities, which may result in the quick progress of heart diseases (Long et al., 2017). Essentially, traditional dishes of Afro-Americans sometimes referred to as ‘soul food,’ are rich in calories and fats.

Moreover, this group’s perception of illnesses and cures contributes to the disease’s development. Thus, many Afro-Americans believe that if they take a pill against high blood pressure or diabetes, they can eat more unhealthy food as the pill will protect them against the consequences. The spiritual practices executed by this group emphasize the readiness for suffering and community outreach (Chandler, 2017). People support each other in illnesses and, at the same time, would not readily consult a doctor due to the lack of resources as well as the stress on the ‘suffering’ perception developed throughout the centuries.

The rationale for selecting this population

The rationale behind selecting the Afro-American population lies in the fact that this group’s genetic and cultural individualities render it especially prone to the development of cardiovascular diseases. Specifically, high blood pressure is the major factor contributing to the diseases’ progression. In my area, Afro-Americans are in special need of health practices that would allow them to control body weight, sugar, and blood pressure.

A cultural or ethnic need within the area, clinical practice, or community

Culturally, there is a need for an explanation that medicine was meant to alleviate suffering, so consulting a doctor is not shameful or wrong. Healthy lifestyle programs and education about the risks of cardiovascular diseases would largely benefit the Afro-American population. In clinical medicine, the stress should be made on weight-reduction programs and the affordability of medicines, hopefully resulting in better treatment of Afro-American patients.

The approved health issue from the chosen cultural population

The health issue this paper deals with is high blood pressure. Being the driver and primary cause of many cardiovascular diseases, this issue should be the first to consider when discussing the health problems of the Afro-American population. High blood pressure is one of the most important preventable causes of premature death (Long et al., 2017). People with high blood pressure possess a significantly higher risk of stroke, coronary heart disease, and kidney failure (Long et al., 2017). The increased risk of Afro-Americans developing these conditions is associated with an unhealthy diet, insufficient physical activity, and excessive body weight (Long et al., 2017). These factors make high blood pressure the first consideration concerning this population group.

Details of the Health Issue

How the health issue is based on the Leading Health Indicator priorities

The health issue of high blood pressure is based on the Leading Health Indicator (LHI) priority from “Healthy People 2030” called ‘increase control of high blood pressure in adults.’ A prolonged increase in blood pressure affects many organs and body systems. First and foremost, the heart, blood vessels, brain, kidneys, and eyes are damaged; the heart in hypertension works with an increased load to push blood through narrowed vessels. Under the influence of constant high pressure, the vessels themselves become less elastic, facilitating the ‘rogue’ penetration of cholesterol and the development of atherosclerosis. That is why arterial hypertension is considered one of the main risk factors for myocardial infarction and cerebral stroke and is stated as an LHI priority in “Healthy People 2030.”

The reason why the health issue was selected

The high blood pressure issue has been selected because it is one of the main reasons for premature death in the Afro-American population. Due to the beliefs shared by this group, Afro-American patients, having achieved a decrease in blood pressure and improved well–being by taking medications, often stop taking medications (Long et al., 2017). The consequences of such withdrawal may be a hypertensive crisis, cardiac arrhythmias, and even myocardial infarction or acute cerebrovascular accident. Moreover, the patients would also express general mistrust of the healthcare system, exacerbating the issue further (Long et al., 2017). These factors demonstrate the Afro-American population’s urgent need for health intervention and education.

The importance of the focus on this health issue

The importance of focusing on the high blood pressure issue stems from the fact that arterial hypertension often goes unnoticed since most patients do not show any signs of poor health at its early stages. It is at times referred to as a ‘silent killer’ since the disease is asymptomatic, especially in the initial stages. Half of the potential patients with high blood pressure and hypertension are not aware of their disease (Long et al., 2017). Of those who know, only half are being treated, and of those who are being treated, only half are being treated effectively (Long et al., 2017). Speaking about the problem and promoting a healthy lifestyle is especially relevant in this context.

Clinical Impact

The relation of the content to clinical practice in general

Knowing about the specificity of high blood pressure in the Afro-American population, doctors and nurses should educate this group about the possible complications of the disease and how to combat it. In clinical practice, along with the prescription of medicine, promoting a healthy lifestyle is imperative.

The community’s cultural needs and details of the health issue’s impact on the area, clinical practice, or community

In my area, the community’s cultural needs aggravate the problem. However, the issue is recognized in local clinical practice, and patients are urged to change their lifestyles to avoid complications of the disease.


Chandler, D. J. (2017). African American spirituality: Through another lens. Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care, 10(2), 159–181.

Long, E., Ponder, M., & Bernard, S. (2017). Knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs related to hypertension and hyperlipidemia self-management among African-American men living in the southeastern United States. Patient Education and Counseling, 100(5), 1000–1006.

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NursingBird. (2023, March 18). Afro-American Community's Cultural & Health Needs. Retrieved from


NursingBird. (2023, March 18). Afro-American Community's Cultural & Health Needs.

Work Cited

"Afro-American Community's Cultural & Health Needs." NursingBird, 18 Mar. 2023,


NursingBird. (2023) 'Afro-American Community's Cultural & Health Needs'. 18 March.


NursingBird. 2023. "Afro-American Community's Cultural & Health Needs." March 18, 2023.

1. NursingBird. "Afro-American Community's Cultural & Health Needs." March 18, 2023.


NursingBird. "Afro-American Community's Cultural & Health Needs." March 18, 2023.