ABOUT THE PROBLEM
African American men and women suffer and die from preventable diseases more than any other group in this country. According to the US Census Bureau, for blacks in the United States, health disparities can mean earlier deaths, decreased quality of life, loss of economic opportunities, and perceptions of injustice. For society, these disparities translate into less than optimal productivity, higher health-care costs, and social inequity. By 2050, an estimated 61 million black persons will reside in the United States, amounting to approximately 15% of the total U.S. population.
Let’s take a closer look:
African Americans/Blacks represent approximately 13% of the nation’s population and experience a disproportionate burden of cardiovascular disease relative to most population groups.2, 3 For example, African Americans have:
The highest rate of high blood pressure, 42.1%, relative to 28% among Whites, 26% among Latinos, and 24.7% among Asians; 4
Nearly twice the risk of first-ever strokes compared to Whites; 5
Significantly higher death rates for stroke than the general population; 6
The highest death rate from cardiovascular disease compared to the general population; 7
The highest age-adjusted rate of obesity, 47.8%, compared to 42.5% among Latinos, 32.6% among Whites, and 10.8% among Asians; and 8
Twice the rate of diabetes than Whites.
According to the CDC, Multiple factors contribute to racial/ethnic health disparities, including socioeconomic factors (e.g., education, employment, and income), lifestyle behaviors (e.g., physical activity and alcohol intake), social environment (e.g., educational and economic opportunities, racial/ethnic discrimination, and neighborhood and work conditions), and access to preventive health-care services.
Over the past decade, The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Progam has screened over 30,000 African American men across in primarily urban communities across the U.S. One observation stands out. The monopoly of hair care and beauty products by those other than African Americans. This translates, in part, into the economic retardation and stagnation of the Black community. The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program’s Economic Development Iniative aims to rectify this devastating trade imbalance.
WHAT WE DO
The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program utilizes a three progoned approach to addressing health disparities in the African American community. Over the past decade, BBHOP has screened over 30,000 African American men, educated hundreds of thousands and saved numerous lives by referring men to the doctor in need of health care services. In many high risk communities across the country some men were referred directly to the emergency room. Sign up to volunteer for our next event.
For Diabetes and Hypertension
The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program screens or test primarily for cardiovascular disease such as diabetes and high blood pressure in black-owned barbershops across the country. Prostate cancer informed decision making education was introduced in 2009.
Our screening efforts involve partnering with black-owned barbershops, local academic institutions as well as other community stake holders. Because most people don’t experience any symptoms, early detection can allow the participant to seek early intervention in the event the screening results are questionable.
About healthy lifestyle choices
The risk of African Americans developing and dying from cardiovascular disease would be substantially reduced if major improvements were made across the U.S. population in diet and physical activity, control of high blood pressure and cholesterol as well as smoking cessation.
The leading modifiable (controllable) risk factors for heart disease and stroke are: High blood pressure, High cholesterol, Cigarette smoking, Diabetes, Unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, Overweight and obesity. Small changes in eating habits and physical activities can pay great dividends in the overall health of an individual.
Refer men and women to local health resources
The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program promotes with ulitization of local health care resources when our screening efforts reveal quesionable results. BBHOP aggregates local health care resources and puts them in the form of whats called “The Real Black Book: Health Resource Guide” which is a compliation of free or low cost health care resources.
The Barbershop Saved My Life!