Black people in US die at higher rate than White counterparts: Study
A recent study has found that Black people have hundreds of thousands of excess deaths compared to their white counterparts in the United States.
Black people in the United States experienced 1.63 million excess deaths compared to their White counterparts in the period between 1999 and 2020, a new study by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) revealed on Wednesday.
"Over a recent 22-year period, the Black population in the US experienced more than 1.63 million excess deaths and more than 80 million excess years of life lost when compared with the White population," the study said.
Improvements in lowering inequities stagnated after a period of success, and in 2020, the gap between the Black and White populations widened, the study found.
The study was conducted to evaluate trends that have led to excess deaths and potential life lost among Black people, it said.
Reportedly, in light of nationwide efforts to promote health equity, "there is a need to assess recent progress in reducing excess deaths and years of potential life lost among the Black population compared with the White population," it added.
The study’s lead author, cardiologist Harlan Krumholz, said there is no biological reason why Black people die at higher rates than White people.
The death disparities are "a function of our social construct of our society, the legacy, history and the persistence of structural racism in society," he concluded.
A study published in October 2020 in the journal Circulation revealed that White people suffering from heart failure were twice as likely as Black patients to receive a heart transplant or a ventricular assist device, a mechanical heart pump commonly used for patients with end-stage heart failure.
Dr. Thomas Cascino, the study’s first author and a clinical instructor in the Division of Cardiovascular Disease at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, said in a news release: “The totality of the evidence suggests that we as heart failure providers are perpetuating current inequities.”
Between July 2015 and June 2016, the researchers examined data on 377 adults being treated for heart failure in the United States, 27% of whom were Black.
A Commonwealth Fund released in April has found that elderly Americans were more likely to report racial and ethnic discrimination in the healthcare system than the elderly in 10 other affluent nations.
Twenty-five percent of Black persons over the age of 60 felt their health professional treated them unjustly or did not take their concerns seriously because of their race or ethnic origin.
According to the survey, black women in the US are nearly three times more likely than white women to die from pregnancy problems.