Health/Health Care Disparities: Are Predominantly African American Institutions Making a Difference? by ProQuest

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Health/Health Care Disparities:
Are Predominantly African American
Institutions Making a Difference?
Tunde M. Akinmoladun, PhD, DAAS, FRSPH



                                                                                  Office of Minority Health in 2007 revealed that, when
  Keywords: health disparities n environment n African
                                                                                  compared to non-Hispanic whites, African Americans
  Americans n historically black colleges and universities
                                                                                  were 1.4 times more likely to have new cases of lung can-
  J Natl Med Assoc. 2009;101:967-969                                              cer, twice more likely to have new cases of stomach can-
                                                                                  cer, 34% more likely to die of breast cancer, and 30%
Author Affiliation: Department of Health Studies, Chicago State University,       more likely to die from heart disease; about 19.5% of
Chicago, Illinois.                                                                African Americans also lacked health insurance.1
Corresponding Author: Tunde M. Akinmoladun, PhD, DAAS, FRSPH, Core
Professor of Environmental Public Health, Chicago State University, Depart-
ment of Health Studies, DH 124, Chicago, IL 60628 (takinmol@csu.edu,              A LENS INTO HISTORICALLY BLACK
tmakin@aol.com).                                                                  COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES
                                                                                      The Diverse: Issues in Higher Education publication
                                                                                  of top degree producers revealed that between 2006 and
INTRODUCTION                                                                      2007 that 27 of the 124 historically black colleges and


A
         ccording to the Office of Minority Health in                             universities (HBCUs) were responsible for 1250 of 2592
         2007, the African American population was 41                             (48%) degrees conferred on African Americans in the
         million, representing about 13.5% of the US                              biological and biomedical sciences.4 According to the
population, and most reside in 10 states in the south-                            same publication, the HBCUs were responsible for 1065
ern region.1 The southern region is also the location of                          of the 4087 (26%) of the degrees conferred on African
about 93% of the 124 predominantly black colleges and                             Americans in the health professions and clinical sci-
universities, and home to many of the landfills, brown-                           ences between 2005 and 2006.5 Diverse also revealed
fields, chemical plants, and hazardous waste manage-                              that 74 out of the total 174 (43%) African American den-
ment facilities.2 With 54% of African Americans living                            tistry degrees were conferred by HBCUs such as How-
in the southern United States, where most waste facilities                        ard University (39%) and Meharry Medical College
and chemical plants are located,1,2 there is bound to be a                        (35%) between 2005 and 2006.6 The same publication
relationship between living in such a close proximity to                          also revea
								
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