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Health Disparities Among Minority Populations Getting Worse
Date:4/2/2009

WARSAW, Ind., April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite government efforts to address disparities in the past decade, beginning with President Clinton's 1998 Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities Initiative, there has been very little progress. African-Americans have more disease, disability, and early death than Caucasians(1).

The statistics are alarming:

  • African-Americans are 1.6 times more likely to have diabetes than non-Latino Caucasians.(2)
  • African-Americans have higher death rates for coronary heart disease (CHD), coronary artery disease (CAD), and stroke.(3)
  • The prevalence of high blood pressure among African-Americans is among the highest in the world.(4)
  • There is an estimate that 80% of black women and 60% of black men are overweight or obese (which contributes to heart disease, certain cancers, high blood pressure, diabetes among other chronic health conditions). (5).
  • African-American women are 3 times more likely to have lupus than Caucasian women. (6)
  • African-Americans are 38% less likely to get joint replacement to alleviate chronic joint pain than Caucasians.(7)

While health disparities worsen for African-Americans, according to Verona Brewton, Zimmer's Director of Minority Initiatives, African-Americans can take control by focusing on those individual behaviors that positively impact one's health.

"Whether you suffer from heart disease, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure or another chronic health condition, there is a key factor that will make a difference in your quality of life - exercise," explains Ms. Brewton.

Keeping weight under control plays a critical role in managing these health issues. However, many African-Americans face a major hurdle: they are living with chronic joint pain.

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SOURCE Zimmer
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