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The Trouble With Black Men

According to data from the CDC, the death rate for African-Americans decreased by 25% from 1999 to 2015. However, African-Americans ages 18-49 are 2 times as likely to die from heart disease as their Caucasian counterparts. Also those between ages 35-60 are 50% more likely to have high blood pressure than their Caucasian counterparts.

A recent analyses done by VeryWell Health which is an editorial group that synthesizes health information found that black men in the United States suffer worse health outcomes than any other racial group in America, they also have the lowest life expectancy and the highest death rate from all causes compared to both men and women of other racial and ethnic groups.

The top 10 leading causes of death in the black community include:

  • Heart disease

  • Cancer

  • Unintentional injuries

  • Stroke

  • Diabetes

  • Chronic lung disease

  • Infections and

  • Hypertension.

Many reasons have been proposed for the great disparities we see in outcomes in the black community. These include well known challenges like racial discrimination, high rates of incarceration, unemployment, poverty and lack of health insurance. However, cultural beliefs and attitudes towards regular physician visits and checkups are a great contributor to poor outcomes as well. Unhealthy habits like smoking, lack of exercise, obesity and unhealthy diet also greatly contribute.

We need to encourage a healthy understanding of our health needs, regular doctor visits and taking medications as prescribed to help prevent these poor outcomes. It is also important that the doctors taking care of minority patients are culturally aware of some of the challenges they face to effectively advocate for them.


Obinna C. Oriaku, MD MBA

Dr. Oriaku is the Founder and CEO of Crown Clinic, P. A. a primary care practice

based in Charlotte NC. He recently founded SocratesMD, a telemedicine platform delivering world-class healthcare to sub-Saharan Africa. He is a physician executive with strong communication and analytic skills leading to effective change management. His special interests include healthcare delivery in resource-challenged populations, and bridging gaps in healthcare disparity in target populations. He is available as a speaker on issues that are of interest to him.


Contact us:

Phone: 980-202-3059

SocratesMD email:


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