The Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust released Friday, September 18, 2015 the 2015 Kelly Report on Health Disparities in America, an official Congressional analysis of the state of African-American health that aims to reversing negative health trends in communities of color from Harlem to Hollywood.
The report brings together Members of Congress, medical professionals and public health thought leaders to examine the root causes and impact of health disparities in America and provide a comprehensive set of legislative and policy recommendations to address them. The report was compiled by Dr. Robin Kelly, chair of the CBC Health Braintrust, who said the report is a call to action for Congress to make improving health outcomes in diverse communities a top priority.
“Inequities in health and health care in communities of color remain deep and persistent, spanning from cradle to the grave, as evidenced by the higher rates of chronic disease and premature death. Many of the health disparities that exist are shaped by generations of cultural bias, injustice and inequality,” Kelly said. “Despite the gains of the Affordable Care Act, we have much ground to cover in closing the health equity gap.”
The report outlines the state of Black health in America, with African-Americans facing higher rates of mortality than any other racial or ethnic group for eight of the top 10 causes of death.
- African-American cancer rates are 10% higher than white Americans
- Blacks are nearly twice as likely to have diabetes than whites
- African-Americans are six times more likely than whites to be victims of homicide
- While Blacks account for just 13% of the total U.S. population, they account for nearly half of all new HIV infections
- African-Americans make up more than one-third of all U.S. patients receiving dialysis for kidney failure.