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Nurse listening to heartbeat of patient in hospital room

African-Americans represent approximately 13% of the United States population (1).  As a group. The African-American or Black population experiences significant disparities within the greater U.S. population when it comes to chronic conditions, access to care, preventive screenings and mental health.  The numbers in comparison to the White American population are staggering:

  • 48% of African Americans adults are obese(2)
  • In 2012, African Americans are 80% more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes and almost 2x more likely to be hospitalized.(3)
  • Men are 30% and women 60% more likely to have high blood pressure (4)
  • Black men are twice at risk of first-time stroke.(5)

The underlying causes of the health disparities have been linked to genetics, lack of economic resources, limited access to health care, delay in treatment, cultural beliefs, low literacy and health literacy rates and certain environmental factors.

When it comes to staying well in this world – physically, financially, emotionally – you need a partner.  Cigna, a global health service company, is dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being, and sense of security.  Cigna wants to help move the conversation and action from treating sickness to creating wellness and engagement in health breaking barriers to better health care.  Cigna understands the importance of addressing health disparities that are affecting the African-American community and is working to help close these gaps.

Everyone should put himself or herself on a path to a healthier you.  Go for your annual check-up.  Know what your four health numbers: Body mass index (BMI), cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar numbers.  Take control of your health.  Find out more at cigna.com/takecontrol.

  • S. Census Bureau: State and County QuickFacts. 2013 Census Year.
  • Ogden CL, Carroll MD, Kit BK, Flegal KM. Prevalence of obesity among adults: United States, 2011-2012. NCHS data brief, no. 131. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics, 2013.
  • Diabetes and African-Americans. Updated 2014. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services of Minority Health. http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=4&lvlid=18
  • Heart Disease and African Americans. Updated 2014. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services of Minority Health. http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=4&lvlid=19

Stroke and African Americans. Updated 2016. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services of Minority Health. http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=4&lvlid=28

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(Photo Credit: Getty Images)