Get the FACTS: Disparities in Black Womens' Health in America in 2023

    Extensive data analysis consistently reveals significant disparities in healthcare outcomes for black women, the following is a sample of data showing the disparities. This information provides you with a more precise understanding of just a few conditions where stark differences affect the lives of black women and our families.


    1. Cardiovascular disease: Black women exhibit higher rates of high blood pressure (hypertension), obstruction of the blood vessels that supply the heart muscles which can lead to heart attacks (coronary artery disease), and the condition where the heart muscle’s ability to pump effectively, (congestive heart failure) compared to other demographic groups. For instance, studies have shown that black women are 60% more likely to have hypertension compared to white women. Also, Black women face a higher risk of heart attack compared to White women. The latest data shows that for every 100,000 people in the population, the number of heart attacks among Black women was 94.6 individuals, while for White women it was 64.3 individuals. This means that the rate of heart attacks was higher among Black women compared to White women. [Source: American Heart Association]

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    2. Cancer: Black women face alarming disparities in breast cancer outcomes. We have a higher mortality (death) rate, with an approximately 40% higher breast cancer death rate compared to white women. Additionally, the related disparity is the often delays in diagnosis and treatment. [Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]


    3. Maternal Mortality Rate (Death associated with Childbirth per 100,000 live births): Black women experience disproportionately higher rates of maternal mortality (death) and severe maternal morbidity (complications).


    - Black women: Approximately 37-40 deaths per 100,000 live births.

    - Non-Hispanic white women: Approximately 14-15 deaths per 100,000 live births.

    - Hispanic women: Approximately 11-12 deaths per 100,000 live births.

    - Asian/Pacific Islander women: Approximately 8-9 deaths per 100,000 live births.


    This means that black women are 2.5 to 3 times more likely to die compared to non-Hispanic white women. These numbers highlight the disparity in maternal death compared to women in other demographic groups. Please note that these figures are approximate and may vary based on different studies and time periods. [Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]

    4. Diabetes: Black women are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and experiencing associated complications. Around 16.1% of black women aged 20 years or older have diagnosed diabetes, compared to 12.1% for white women. Complications such as lower-limb amputations occur 2.7 times more frequently in black women with diabetes compared to white women. [Source: American Diabetes Association]


    5. Mental Health: Disparities persist in access to and quality of mental health services for black women, leading to inadequate support for mental health conditions. Studies indicate that only 7.6% of black women with mental health needs receive treatment, compared to 13.6% of white women. Disparities also exist in mental health treatment utilization. According to a 2019 report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), among adults with any mental illness, 15.2% of Black adults received mental health treatment compared to 23.6% of White adults. [Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration]


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    6. Stroke: Black women have strokes more than than other demographic groups in America. According to the American Heart Association, black women are approximately 50% more likely to have a stroke compared to white women. Black women had a 30% higher risk of post-stroke disability compared to white women, and the study also reported that black women had worse function after a stroke and higher mortality rates after stroke. [Source: Journal Stroke]


    7. Alzheimer's Disease: Black women have an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Black women have a 2.5 times higher incidence of Alzheimer's disease compared to white women. Recently, a study found a link between perceived discrimination and cognitive functioning decline among African American older adults. However, this study did not exclusively focus on Alzheimer's disease and did not solely examine the experiences of black women. [Source: Archives of Neurology, Journal of Gerontology]


    8. Obesity: Black women have higher rates of obesity compared to all other demographics. In 2019, the obesity rate among black women was 39.8%, while it was 29.9% among all other demographics [Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]


    9. HIV/AIDS: Black Americans are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. In 2019, Black individuals accounted for 42% of new HIV diagnoses in the United States, despite representing around 13% of the population. [Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]


    10. Overall Life Expectancy: There is a significant difference in life expectancy between black women and individuals from all other demographics in the United States. Based on the CDC's latest available data, the specific age for the longest life expectancy among women in the United States is approximately 87 years for Asian/ Pacific Islander category. The CDC data cites life expectancy for black women was 74.7 years, while it was 78.5 years for individuals from all other demographics. However, it's important to note that this can vary slightly depending on various factors such as the specific subgroup within the Asian/Pacific Islander category and the year of analysis. [Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]