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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2005 Jan 14;54(1):1-3.

Health disparities experienced by black or African Americans--United States.


In the 2000 census, 36.4 million persons, approximately 12.9% of the U.S. population, identified themselves as Black or African American; 35.4 million of these persons identified themselves as non-Hispanic. For many health conditions, non-Hispanic blacks bear a disproportionate burden of disease, injury, death, and disability. Although the top three causes and seven of the 10 leading causes of death are the same for non-Hispanic blacks and non-Hispanic whites (the largest racial/ethnic population in the United States), the risk factors and incidence, morbidity, and mortality rates for these diseases and injuries often are greater among blacks than whites. In addition, three of the 10 leading causes of death for non-Hispanic blacks are not among the leading causes of death for non-Hispanic whites: homicide (sixth), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease (seventh), and septicemia (ninth). This week's MMWR is the third in a series focusing on racial/ethnic health disparities. Eliminating these disparities will require culturally appropriate public health initiatives, community support, and equitable access to quality health care.

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