The Relationship Between Lung Disease and Black Americans
This American Lung Association report from 2005 proves that black Americans are more likely to suffer a greater chance of acquiring lung disease than their white American counterparts. Here are some facts to prove them:
– Black Americans are 50 percent less likely to get their pneumonia and flu shots as compared to their white counterparts.
– Black Americans have a 50 percent more chance to acquire lung cancer as compared to their white American counterparts.
– Black American babies can die from SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome by up to 2.5 more times as compared to white American babies.
– Black American children can have sleep apnea by up to 3 more times as compared to white American children.
– Black Americans can suffer from Sarcoidosis, or lung scarring by up to 3 more times as compared to their white counterparts. Furthermore, the said disease is about 16 times deadlier when it occurs in black Americans than in white Americans.
– Black Americans have the greatest number of asthma sufferers than any other ethnic or racial group in the United States. Blacks who have asthma are 3 times likelier to die from it as compared to white Americans who suffer from asthma.
But why does this happen? Dr. Graham has some answers that shed light on the problem. He states that more than 70 percent of all black Americans live in communities that have low air pollution standards, and compares this figure to around 58 percent of white Americans that live in the same community standard. Dr. Graham says that when you look closely at the black American in how they are distributed per demographic, you’ll find that there are more black Americans that live near polluted air and transportation corridors. There’s also the fact that more black Americans are living in toxic waste dumps as compared to white Americans. The demographic is also dangerously close to factories that produce toxic waste.
The difference in genetics also play a huge role in lung diseases. Consider the fact that lung cancer can come from smoking cigarettes. In recent decades, cigarette smoking in black Americans are rapidly declining as compared to their white counterparts. Why do black Americans die from lung cancer more than white Americans? The answer may lie in the disparity of health care, more specifically on how black Americans get diagnosed at a later time when the disease becomes quite difficult to treat. Some other facts show how genetic susceptibility can play a larger role.
Dr. Graham notes that environment does play a lot in black Americans getting lung cancer more than white Americans. There’s also the truth that the black American’s economic and social status are further down the ladder as compared to Caucasians. The further a demographic is down the socio-economic ladder, the more likely they are to acquire deadly diseases. Access to health care also a notable factor. Even with readily available HMOs, black Americans get significantly fewer referrals as compared to their white counterparts.
Dr. Graham has wondered if the racial pressure causes the minority to get less specialty referrals as compared to the majority. The doctor has taken part in several black empowerment projects in regards to what they should expect in their health care. Furthermore, Dr. Graham suspects that there are more sinister reasons why doctors refer blacks to specialized care less than white Americans