Health Care and Politics

882 Words4 Pages
Racial tensions, in the form of prejudice and discrimination certainly contribute to the obvious health disparities experienced by African-Americans. “Health disparities refer to the gaps of quality of health and health care across racial and ethnic groups” (Wikipedia, 2014). Results from a 2003 Health Interview Survey indicated that “African-Americans and Hispanics were the most likely to report the feeling of being discriminated against when seeking health care” (Sorkin, Ngo-Metzger, & DeAlba, 2010). The perception of discrimination affects the way many patients make decisions about their medical care from adherence to medication regimens to follow-up and treatment recommendations. The increased risk of disease, as well as disability and premature death is well documented within the black community. Unfortunately, lack of adequate health care plays a significant role in this health care crisis and is a direct result of inequalities that we see in income, education, environmental factors, as well as the lack of health insurance. Stress from perceived discrimination, anxiety, and hostility cannot be excluded as major contributing factors in the overall health of African-Americans. Personal experiences of racist behaviors can cause increased stress and blood pressure. The results from stress “can and do cause harm, including bodily damage. Studies indicate that between 70 and 80 percent of all disease is strongly related to, if not directly associated with stress. . . Stress is the experience of a perceived threat [real or imagined] to one’s mental, physical, or spiritual well-being, resulting from a series of physiological responses and adaptations” (Seward, 2012). Stress can result in unhealthy behaviors such as cigarette smoki... ... middle of paper ... ...w.apa.org/topics/health-disparities/fact-sheet-stress.aspx http://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/ Schaefer, R. (Ed.). (2012.) Racial and ethnic groups. (13th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education. Seaward, B. (2012). The art of peace and relaxation workbook. (7th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning Sorkin, D., Ngo-Metzger, Q., & DeAlba, I. (2010). Racial/ethnic discrimination in health care: Impact on perceived quality of care. Journal General Internal Medicine. 25(5): 390-396. doi: 10.1007/s11606-010-1257-5 Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2855001/ Tomlinson, C. (2014, March 31). Texas redistricting fight is boon to lawyers. Retrieved from: http://www.statesman.com/ap/ap/texas/texas-redistricting-fight-is-boon-to-lawyers/nfN97/ http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Social_determinants_of_health&oldid=602097693
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