Five Diseases That Are Devastating the African American Population



It is important to establish an understanding of the depth and severity of diseases that mainly affect African Americans. None could be more illustrative of this than sickle cell anemia, hypertension, heart failure, drug addiction (opioid use disorder), and HIV/AIDS. These disorders epitomize the struggles that blacks have gone through to survive some of the very worst medical situations in the history of mankind. They also represent the most desperate aspects of healthcare disparities and the fact that within them are found both frustration with our past efforts to eliminate those disparities as well as the hope of eliminating them through recent developments in research and precision drug development. In a sense, this is a “tale of two cities” in that blacks have endured the worst of times with respect to these diseases but can now expect the best of times due to the emergence of promising new medical approaches. These five disease states are analyzed from the perspective of their historical, epidemiological, demographic, pathophysiological, geographical, clinical, therapeutic, and healthcare aspects.


Black-related diseases Epidemiology Sickle cell disease Hemoglobinopathy Sickle cell trait Polymerization Hypertension High blood pressure Heart failure Opioid Addiction Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.EncinoUSA

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