There is no doubt that anybody can fall sick at any point in time. Race, ethnicity and genetics however play import roles in the type of diseases people may be susceptible to. For people of African and Caribbean descent, High Blood Pressure, prostate cancer and diabetes are most common, and researchers don’t seem to know why. The general belief is that they may be due to diet, lifestyle, and different ways the body stores fat.
Below, we will look at three of the most common conditions that affect people of African and Afro-Caribbean descent.
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
Doctors refer to high blood pressure as a silent killer because it has no symptoms. High blood pressure increases a person’s chances of experiencing severe conditions such as stroke, kidney issues, and heart attack. Repeated studies have shown that Black people are at a higher risk of falling sick with high blood pressure and stroke.
The reasons why people of African and Afro-Caribbean descent are more at risk of this disease still requires further research. However, exercise and a healthy diet can make a difference and prevent sudden death from a heart attack. If you would like further information on hypertension, visit the sites below:
Many Black and people of Afro-Caribbean descent are more likely to suffer from diabetes. According to data from health charity Diabetes UK, in 2019 there were over 4 million suffers. They also found that:
- People from Black or South Asian ethnic groups are almost twice as likely to have some form of the disease
- African, Afro-Caribbean and South Asians are up to 4 times more likely to develop type-2 diabetes
- The increased risks may be associated with differences in lifestyles
Diabetes can lead to many complications like stroke, blindness, kidney complications, amputation, etc. Diabetes is the cause of more deaths than prostate and breast cancer combined. For further information on diabetes please visit:
Black and Afro-Caribbean people are more likely to suffer from mental health issues than other races. According to UK mental health charity Mind, the number of Black and mixed-race people that are admitted for mental health issues each year is ten times higher than national average.
Reviewing data from the British Government’s Independent Review of the Mental Health Act, they also found that Black people are:
- 40% more likely to be sectioned through the police justice system
- 4 times more likely to be detained under the Mental Health Act
- 3 times more likely to be placed in isolation
- Less likely to receive psychological treatment and therapies
There are many potential reasons why Black people seem to be more susceptibility to mental illness and receive such differences in treatment. One of the factors noted is that African and Afro-Caribbean people in the UK suffer worse with housing problems, unemployment, racism, and stress. These are all known factors that can negatively affect a person’s mental health.
For more information and resources on mental health, please visit:
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