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The health of African Americans is a crucial but often overlooked part of public health. While strides have been made to improve the health disparities between different races, there are still ways that African Americans can take charge of their own health and well-being. Here is a look at some of the issues facing African Americans today and how they can work to improve their health.

Health Disparities

African Americans are more likely than whites to suffer from chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer. In addition, they have higher rates of infant mortality and lower life expectancy than white Americans. These disparities are due in large part to systemic issues such as socio-economic inequality, lack of access to healthcare, poor nutrition, and environmental factors like air pollution. Unfortunately, these issues remain largely unaddressed by our current healthcare system.

Taking Action

The good news is that there are things that African Americans can do to protect their own health—even in the face of systemic racism and inequality. It’s important for African Americans to be proactive about their own health by staying educated about preventative measures such as healthy eating habits and regular exercise. Additionally, it’s important for African Americans to make sure they receive adequate healthcare by speaking up about any concerns or questions with their doctor or nurse practitioner—and insisting on follow-up appointments if necessary. Finally, it’s important for African Americans to advocate for their own health rights by speaking out against injustice in the healthcare system when they see it.  

The key takeaway here is that while there may be systematic racism in our healthcare system today, there are still steps that individuals can take to protect themselves and ensure they get the care they need. By staying educated about preventative care measures, being proactive about receiving adequate care from a medical professional when needed, and advocating for medical justice when necessary—African American individuals can take charge of their own health and well-being despite the odds stacked against them. Taking these steps now will help ensure better outcomes later on down the road—both for individual patients and the entire community at large.

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