Black Women Have Higher Mortality Rate Than Whites

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Black women in Duval County, Fla., are dying at a younger age than white women from a number of conditions, including HIV/AIDS, heart disease and diabetes, according to a report released on Wednesday, the Florida Times-Union reports.

The report by the county Center for Health Statistics is based on a compilation of government data from 2006. The report calculated the years of potential life lost -- which according to Rebecca Filipowicz, coordinator of the center, tabulates "years that were lost that shouldn't have been." The YPLL for black women is nearly 50% higher than for whites, she said, adding, "As with a lot of the health issues we study, there's major health disparities, especially with race and geographic distribution."

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Women living in primarily black Jacksonville communities had the highest rates of heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Filipowicz said that even though such conditions are preventable, many women cannot afford health care or they might not know enough about their health to recognize a problem.

The report noted that about one in five black women was uninsured, compared with one in 10 white women. A similar report released earlier this year focusing on men also found that blacks were dying from preventable diseases, in large part because of limited access to medical care, according to the Times-Union (Cox, Florida Times-Union, 10/23).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. © 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

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