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Study finds experiences of racism associated with weight gain in African American women

Study finds experiences of racism associated with weight gain in African American women

A recent analysis conducted by investigators from the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University has found that frequent experiences of racism were associated with a higher risk of obesity among African American women. The findings, which currently appear online in the American Journal of Epidemiology, found the relationship between racism and obesity was strongest among women who reported consistently high experiences of racism over a 12-year period. The research was based on data from the Black Women’s Health Study, a longitudinal study that enrolled 59,000 African-American women in 1995 and has followed them continually.

Read More at MedicalXpress.com

Black Woman’s Health Study Website

ABWW Signal Boost: Tennessee’s Pregnancy Criminalization Law Will Hit Black Women the Hardest

I have been following Imani Gandy’s tireless work for reproductive rights for a few years. She is passionate, knowledgeable & incredibly funny as the co-host of the This Week in Blackness podcast. Read more of her work of her work  at  RH| Reality Check, The Grio.com, AlterNet,

In Tennessee, pregnant Black women have much to fear as a bill that would subject them to disproportionately higher rates of incarceration and detention sits on Gov. Bill Haslam’s desk, awaiting his signature. The bill, SB 1391, would impose criminal penalties on mothers of newborns who have been exposed to addictive illegal or prescription drugs in utero. While the bill appears race-neutral, prosecutors and judges will wield the law against Black women more so than white women, based on a long tradition of deeply embedded racial stereotypes about Black motherhood. Should Gov. Haslam ignore the growing outcry against SB 1391 from pro-choice and anti-choice advocates alike, the law would likely lead to Black women being thrown in jail for up to 15 years for aggravated assault should they choose to carry a pregnancy to term while struggling with an addiction to illegal narcotics

Read More at Tennessee’s Pregnancy Criminalization Law Will Hit Black Women the Hardest.

Let’s Talk About Our Uteri

Black Women’s Health: How To Talk About Reproductive Health | The Chicago Defender

Despite the grammatical errors. this young lady is speaking from the heart. We need more young women like her to spread this important message.

With all the conversation that you’re having with your girlfriends, who’s having the conversation about your health?There are countless blogs about Black women’s hair–what’s your curl pattern? What protective styles can you wear? How often should you wash? Is co-washing better? The natural hair conversation has taken off to dimensions my unborn grandchild will only understand.

We talk about the latest diet trend, but why aren’t we talking about how our diets will keep us from growing grapefruit sized fibroids? How often do you check in with your girlfriend’s routine breast exams? Have you ever discussed getting a pelvic ultrasound over brunch? Are you talking to your girlfriends about how often you and your boo get checked for STD’s or if they’ve ever contracted an STI or STD? What about the steps they took to get rid of it?

Read more at Black Women’s Health: How To Talk About Reproductive Health | The Chicago Defender.

ABWW Heroine of the Day: Dr. Alexa I. Canady

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Dr. Alexa Canady & her young patient.

Conservatives may think that Ben Carson is some kind of anomaly but black doctors save lives every day. Dr. Alexa Canady was the first black female neurosurgeon and works to expand the opportunities for women of color in her field for over 25 years.

Dr. Alexa Canady was born on November 7, 1950, in Lansing, Michigan. While she was in college, a summer program inspired her to pursue a medical career.  Canady specialized as a pediatric neurosurgeon and served as chief of neurosurgery at the Children’s Hospital in Michigan in from 1987 to 2001.

Read more at Alexa Canady: Biography.com.

Read more at Changing the Face of Medicine| Dr. Alex Irene Canady

Black Women and Health: Extreme Stress Causes Accelerated Biological Aging

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You’ve probably heard the expression “black don’t crack,” a reference to black women’s ageless beauty. But though their skin may be smooth and wrinkle-free on the outside, black women are aging faster than white women on the inside, health experts say.

Dr. Michelle Gourdine, a former deputy secretary of health and chief public health physician for Maryland, explains that extreme stress causes wear and tear on our internal organs, contributing to heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke in black women—all diseases of aging. “The cells that make up your heart, your blood vessels, whatever else, begin to age prematurely because of all the stress, and that predisposes you to disease,” says Gourdine, author of Reclaiming Our Health: A Guide to African American Wellness.

She points to a 2010 National Institutes of Health study titled “Do US Black Women Experience Stress-Related Accelerated Biological Aging?” The study’s authors analyzed data from the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation and found that black women between the ages of 49 and 55 are 7.5 years biologically “older” than white women

Continue Reading at The Root.

Black Women are Being Left Out of Advancements in Genetic Medicine

hpv vaccine african american women
Henrietta Lacks was a poor black wife and mother who died of cervical cancer in 1951. The cells from Henrietta’s tumor were given to researcher George Gey, who discovered that  her cells could be kept alive and grow. Ms. Lacks’ material named HeLa were the first human cells successfully cloned. Mrs. Lack’s cells were use without her permission and her family were never informed about the medical advancements made and the millions earned by Henrietta’s genes until the 1980s. They have received no monetary compensation for her It is an ironic that the medical advances brought about by Lack’s contribution are not designed to help those who look like her.

HPV Vaccine May Not Protect Against Subtypes That Most Commonly Affect African American Women

African American women and white women may not be affected by the same subtypes of the human papillomavirus (HPV), a new study suggests, which is troubling considering currently available HPV vaccines do not protect against the subtypes that were most commonly found in African American women.

Researchers from the Duke University School of Medicine examined the HPV subtypes present in 572 people who were part of the Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia Cohort Study, all of whom had abnormal Pap tests. Of those women, 280 were African American and 292 were white. They looked particularly at HPV subtypes present in the women’s cervical intraepithelial neoplasias (CIN), which are abnormalities in the cervix that are considered precursors to cervical cancer. They wanted to see what differences there may be in early CIN (called CIN1) and more advanced CIN (called CIN2 and CIN3).

“These are young women in the prime of their careers, family and fertility. This means a severely compromised future with a disease that waxes and wanes, affecting every aspect of daily living for the rest of their lives.”  Among the women with early CIN, HPV subtypes 16, 18, 31, 56 39 and 66 were the most frequently detected among white women. For African American women, though, the HPV subtypes 33, 35, 58 and 68 were most frequently detected.

African American Women Develop Lupus at a Younger Age

I lost one of dear friends in college to Lupus. It was not a rarity, black women had very high rates of lupus, with an incidence rate in Georgia nearly three times higher than that for white women, with significantly high rates in the 30-39 age group,” says principal investigator, S. Sam Lim, MD, MPH, associate professor in the Division of Rheumatology at Emory University School of Medicine.

There are substantial racial disparities in the burden of lupus, according to initial data from the largest and most far-reaching study ever conducted on the disease and published online today by the journal, Arthritis and Rheumatism. The data confirms that black females disproportionately are burdened by lupus, a devastating and complicated autoimmune disease.   “These are young women in the prime of their careers, family and fertility. This means a severely compromised future with a disease that waxes and wanes, affecting every aspect of daily living for the rest of their lives.”

Breast Cancer Gene Mutations More Common in Black Women

Black women with breast cancer are more likely than women in the general population to have genetic mutations linked to their disease, and a significant proportion of those mutations extend beyond the common BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, a new study has found.

In the first comprehensive analysis of all known breast cancer susceptibility genes in a black cohort, mutations were most prevalent in women with early-onset disease, triple-negative disease, or a family history of breast, ovarian, or pancreatic cancer. The findings suggest that broader genetic screening than is currently clinically available might be warranted in high-risk black patients and their families, said study author Jane Churpek, MD, a hemotologist/oncologist at the University of Chicago.

CDC: African-American women less likely to get mammograms | wtsp.com

CHECK THOSE BOOBIES, SISTERS!!!

The number of patients dying from breast cancer is on the decline… that’s the good news.

The bad news is there’s still a large gap between black and white women in terms of mortality and when one is diagnosed. 

Those are the findings of a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Black women still have a disproportionately higher breast cancer death rate: 41 percent higher than white women.  

The report suggests a link between the high mortality rate and data showing black women less frequently use mammography than white women.

via CDC: African-American women less likely to get mammograms | wtsp.com.

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