More Anxiety, More Stress, Less Control
In comparison to white people, African-Americans are more likely to experience somatization (anxiety), greater health impairment, greater perception of less control of their health status and greater number of stressful life events in the previous six months, according to a 2006 study comparing Black health outcomes to white by researchers Amar K. Das, Mark Olfson, Henry L. McCurtis and Myrna M. Weissman. In addition, the association between alcohol abuse and major depression was greater among African-Americans than among non–African Americans.
Predominantly Black Health Care Issues Ignored
People suffering from the potentially fatal disease sickle cell anemia feel they are not being listened to by the medical profession, according to a survey in the United Kingdom. Sickle cell patients are often either given too high or too low of a dose of drugs because hospital doctors fail to take their views about their symptoms into account, says the report by the Department of Public Health Sciences at Guy’s, King’s and St. Thomas’ School of Medicine. Previous research has shown that sickle cell patients believe they have not been given strong enough drug treatments to relieve pain. But the researchers say this is the first survey to show that people feel they are being given too many, and that they are suffering unnecessary side effects. The survey of 57 patients in London found most felt the medical profession tended to stereotype and stigmatize them. Many distrusted health professionals as a result. Krista Maxwell, one of the researchers, said, “Some people would argue that the fact that it mainly affects Black people underlies the neglect felt at all levels of the medical profession, from the Department of Health down.”