Tuesday, September 27, 2011

This Seems to Surprise Americans - In Canada, Blacks are as Healthy as Whites

In Canada, white people are no healthier than our black people.   When I read that my reaction was, "well, duh."  Why would a Canadian achieve different health outcomes based on race?   Well apparently what we might take as a given is news elsewhere.

From health surveys, researchers found that blacks born in Canada had lower rates of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and cancer than their white compatriots.

By contrast, high blood pressure and diabetes were more common among blacks than whites in the U.S.

One possible explanation is that African Americans have a long history as second-class citizens, said Thomas A. LaVeist, who directs the Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions in Baltimore.

"That is what I think is fueling the disparity we see in the U.S.," LaVeist, whose findings appear in the Archives of Internal Medicine, told Reuters Health.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interesting.. How do the numbers add up in reference to our First Nations population? Methinks it best not to gloat too much.....

The Mound of Sound said...

Ah, there we have the great urban/rural divide. The more removed one gets from an urban environment the more spotty becomes the healthcare available. Communications, transportation, emergency services all degrade pretty rapidly in a sparsely populated land such as Canada.

LeDaro said...

Mound, off the topic. Your previous background was much better and easier to read. The current black background and white writting I find difficult to read. Maybe it is just me.

Anonymous said...

I agree with LeDaro...

LeDaro said...

Mound, thank you. New background looks great.

wondering said...

I agree with Anonymous. We shouldn't pat ourselves on the back too hard, given the national disgrace of First Nations health outcomes. And it's not just a rural/urban divide (although of course that is part of it - it's not like any societal problems have only one cause) comparing health outcomes for rural whites vs rural First Nations (or urban whites vs urban First Nations) still shows a wide divide.

(lol - the word verification is "prejugin" I guess I am prejudging.

crf said...

The article goes on to quote LaVeist further:
""""
While he called the findings surprising, noting that they contradict earlier data from Canada, he also cautioned that they have significant limitations.

The Canadian health survey, for instance, included only 729 blacks, compared with more than 280,000 whites. That makes the comparisons between the two groups much less trustworthy.
""""

So I don't think the article as a whole supports the mound's preconception that Canadians wouldn't have different health outcomes based on race. LaVeist says that other studies suggest that blacks do not have equal health outcomes with whites in Canada. And he says his study is relatively weak, due to few blacks in the survey.

The Mound of Sound said...

Actually I think it's really difficult to contrast black/white outcomes in Canada to those in the US. Their non-white population seems to be heavily Hispanic and black whereas blacks make up, by comparison, a much smaller segment of Canada's non-white population. My experience suggests that a non-white Canadian is much more apt to be Asian, South Asian or aboriginal than black. Also, as anyone who has driven through the Deep South can attest there are a great many African-Americans who live in relatively poor agricultural/rural communities where incomes are sufficiently marginal to make private healthcare premiums prohibitive. Having criss-crossed Canada many times I've never seen anything comparable here. But, having spent a reasonable amount of time in remote parts of Canada I can also attest that having a healthcare card is little comfort in places with far less than adequate medical services.