The top leading causes of death for African Americans are as follows:
1. Heart Disease: Heart disease is the leading cause of death for people of most ethnicities in the United States, including African Americans.
2. Cancer: The number of new cancer cases can be reduced, and many cancer deaths can be prevented. Research shows that screening for cervical and colorectal cancers as recommended helps prevent these diseases by finding precancerous lesions so they can be treated before they become cancerous.
Screening for cervical, colorectal, and breast cancers also helps find these diseases at an early, often highly treatable stage. Making cancer screening, information, and referral services available and accessible to all Americans can reduce cancer incidence and deaths.
3. Stroke: Stroke is a leading cause of death for all Americans, but the risk of having a stroke varies with race and ethnicity. African Americans’ risk of having a first stroke is nearly twice that of whites. Hispanic Americans’ risk falls between that of whites and African Americans.
American Indians/Alaska Natives and African Americans are more likely to have had a stroke than are other groups. Moreover, African Americans are more likely to die following a stroke than are whites.
4. Diabetes: African Americans are twice as likely to be diagnosed with diabetes as non-Hispanic whites. In addition, they are more likely to suffer complications from diabetes, such as end-stage renal disease and lower extremity amputations. Although African Americans have the same or lower rate of high cholesterol as their non-Hispanic white counterparts, they are more likely to have high blood pressure.
• African American adults are twice as likely than non-Hispanic white adults to have been diagnosed with diabetes by a physician.
• In 2008, African American men were 2.7 times as likely to start treatment for end-stage renal disease related to diabetes, as compared to non-Hispanic white men.
• In 2008, diabetic African Americans were 1.7 times as likely as diabetic Whites to be hospitalized.
• In 2009, African Americans were 2.2 times as likely as non-Hispanic Whites to die from diabetes.
With these serious health issues facing the African American community, Metropolitan Cardiovascular Foundation held its annual Health Fair 2013 in Irvington, New Jersey. According to Dr. Joseph Campbell, the organizer and lead cardiologist at Metropolitan, “the mission of this health fair is to give the African American community access to medical resources and information”. “African Americans are not exposed to medical resources and information like they should be”.
There were several vendors on hand to lend their support in educating the community. St. Michael’s Medical Center was present to inform the public about the free screenings that they have available for individuals with no insurance. Also in attendance was Valley Spring Family Medical, Horizon NJ Health, Calvary Medical Associates, Fresenius Medical, Jones Dental Associates, Northfield Podiatry, Happy Feet, Town & Country Pharmacy, Northfield Podiatry and South Mountain Rehabilitation Center.
There were also raffles, prizes, music and plenty of food. In the end, it was all about health. As the brochure states, the mission of this health fair was to provide “Choices for Healthy Living and reduce the number of African-American who succumb to the top leading causes of death.”.