Health: Here Are The 5 Most Common Diseases That Affects African Women

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Good health is something everyone should enjoy. However, quite a number of factors can make an individual more susceptible to diseases and conditions. Things such as race, ethnicity, Geography and genetics play a role in a person’s likelihood of developing a particular disease. Here are the top 5 diseases that affects an average of 3 in every 5 African woman

  1. Depression:Depression lately has become one of the biggest killer on the continent of Africa, In addition to the usual biological culprits that can contribute to mental illness issues, economic insecurity, catering for the homes and having to balance all of this as a significant effect on the impact mental health status on a lot of African Women. In 2019, African women a lot of this problems like economic Insecurity and racism, gender inequality, domestic violence, Sexual Assault this problems and mental states causes stress and anxiety, which then leads to depression and that’s something that is never discussed. Black women are especially vulnerable to wrestling with their mental health, consistently  reporting higher feelings of sadness, hopelessness, worthlessness.
  2. DiabetesFor Black people in America and Africa, a number of factors increase the chances of developing diabetes. From impaired glucose tolerance to obesity, from inherited traits to inactivity, the average African woman risk of becoming diabetic is quite high as compared to other women of other races. According to a study led by Dr Mercedes R. Carnethon at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, there are 66 more cases of diabetes in 1000 black people compared to women of other races people. Black women are even more at risk. To reduce the risk of diabetes it is recommended to maintain the blood sugar and blood pressure levels as well as check on cholesterol intake. The ratio of a white women’s diabetes diagnosis rate is 5.4 per 100, that number is 9.9 per 100 for black women, according to CDC data from 1980-2014 almost double. The risk factors responsible is the Metabolic syndrome which increases a person’s chance of getting these diseases. These risk factors include having a Waist circumference above 35 inches in women and 40 inches in men, high levels of triglycerides (Fat in the blood), a low HDL (“good”) cholesterol level, high blood pressure, and high fasting blood sugar.
  3. Cervical CancerThe most common form of Cancers in Black men are prostate, lung, colon and rectum cancer. In Black women, breast, lung, colon and rectum cancers are commonly diagnosed. Although cancer-related deaths have decreased over the years, the gap is still wide between Black and Whites. Research published in January in the journal Cancer found that not only are black women more likely to die of cervical cancer than women of other races, they’re also 77 percent more likely to die from it than experts previously thought. Prior estimates said 5.7 black women per 100,000 would die of the disease, but this new research puts the number at 10.1 per 100,000. “Unlike breast cancer, Cervical cancer is absolutely preventable in this day and age,” Dr. Phillips says. “In 2017, no woman should be diagnosed with cervical cancer.” That’s partly because the HPV vaccine is excellent at preventing infection of certain strains of human papillomavirus that can go on to cause cancer. But as of August 2016, only 6 out of 10 girls ages 13 to 17 and 5 of 10 boys in the same age range had started the vaccine series, which doctors recommend getting before age 26 for optimal results. Racial disparities are relevant here—a 2014 report from the CDC showed that around 71 percent of white girls 13 to 17 had completed the three-shot series, compared with about 62 percent of black girls in that age group. (The CDC changed these recommendations in 2016: It now says only two doses are necessary for optimal protection if the patient is between 11 and 12, but three are still ideal if the patient is between 15 and 26.)
  4. Fibroid

    Black women are three times more likely than women of other races to get uterine fibroids, noncancerous tumors in the walls of the uterus, according to the Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health. Fibroids are largely genetic, and there’s no known way to prevent them. “Most of the time, women don’t know they have fibroids because they don’t have symptoms,” Dr. Hutcherson says. “But when [the fibroids] start to grow or increase in number, they can cause a large number of problems, from pain to bleeding to miscarriages, to problems with urination and problems with bowel movements.” When fibroids do make themselves known, the first sign is often heavy bleeding or pelvic pain, Dr. Hutcherson says. These symptoms can have a lot of other causes, but if you do have fibroids, you and your doctors can work on a treatment plan. To tackle heavy bleeding and pelvic pain, your doctor may recommend hormonal birth control. But doctors can also perform a myomectomy to remove the fibroids or use techniques like uterine artery embolization and radiofrequency ablation to either block the fibroid from getting nutrients or shrink it.

  5. High Blood Pressure:Although the high blood pressure has been connected to obesity and diabetes, researchers have found out that genetics plays an important role in developing the disease. One of the most dangerous things about hypertension (often referred to as the silent killer) is that it does not come with any symptoms.  The doctors, therefore, recommend regularly checking blood pressure and making lifestyle changes to prevent hypertension.Photo Credit: Getty

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