top story

Higher health risks for African Americans

  • 0

According to the American Heart Association, the prevalence of high blood pressure in African-Americans is the highest in the world.

Cardiovascular disease, obesity, hyper tension; those are the diseases that African-Americans suffer from.

American Heart Association finds African-Americans are disproportionately affected by obesity. Among non-Hispanic blacks age 20 and older, 63 percent of men and 77 percent of women are overweight or obese. 

There are a combination of reasons, said Dr. Washington Hill, FACOG, of the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County. 

"One is clearly a genetic risk, not only for obesity in African Americans, but in hypertension and also for diabetes."

Access to healthcare is important in the Newtown community, said Dr. Hill, and that's going to improve when the Sarasota Memorial Internal Medicine Practice at Newtown opens their doors July 1st.

Dr. Hill explains, "access to healthy foods and vegetables, in the Newtown area is not easy, and then access to good food other than fast food, Popeye's, McDonald's, those type of places."  Dr Hill points out that there are no markets in the neighborhood that carry fresh, healthy choices in foods.

"It's also difficult because poverty plays a role in all of this." Said Dr. Hill.

Dr. Hill pointed out that not everyone can afford Whole Foods prices for high quality foods.