How would you assess the overall health of African Americans?

Expert Answers
Jessica Pope eNotes educator| Certified Educator
The health of the African American population is lower than that of the white American population but higher than that of 2nd and 3rd world populations. For example, approximately 77% of African American women are overweight, compared to 56% of white women. Black men who smoke are nearly 50% more likely to develop lung disease than white men who smoke. African Americans have higher incedinces of hypertension and heart disease as well. When compared to populations outside of the industrialized West, African American health is strong. African Americans enjoy an average life span of almost 20 years longer than many Asian and African communities. African Americans tend not to suffer from high rates of malnourishment or hunger - health conditions prevalent in many developing nations. The state of African American health is relative. It depends on what populations you are comparing, which factors you use for the comparison, and th extent to which external factors are taken into account.