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  The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Monday, February 6, 2017

Blacks in Poorer Neighborhoods Have a Higher Risk of Getting This!

Black woman in hospital

Where you live can have a significant impact on your overall health. According to a new government-funded study, Blacks who live in poor neighborhoods are at greater risk for heart disease and stroke than those who live in wealthier areas.
The study was published in the American Journal of Public Health and took place between 2000 - 2011, involving black men and women in Jackson, Mississippi. The study confirmed that the poorer people were, the greater the risk for heart disease and stroke. Specifically, researchers found that every decrease in socio-economic status was associated with a 25 percent increase in heart disease risk.

But why is the risk greater in low income areas?

The reasons stem from the fact that people who live in poverty areas suffer increased stress from limited opportunities for good jobs, proper education and other resources necessary for their well-being. Researchers also found more violence prevalent in poorer neighborhoods which showed small levels of increase in risk of heart disease, but researchers are quick to point out that the research didn't prove neighborhood conditions caused poor health.

The Jackson Heart Study is ongoing, involving 5,300 black adults in Mississippi. The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute reports that the study is the largest single-site study of heart disease in a black American population. The study points to a real need to address "economic and social policies at the neighborhood level," according to study leader Sharrelle Barber.

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