Here’s the hard truth: Black women are underrepresented in datasets, and have the worst health outcome. We have to do better.
While the world watches, Black people are victimized every single day. Whether it’s through socioeconomic oppression, hatred, police brutality with traumatic endings like beloved Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd. Racial inequality is real, and it is at an all time high.
Inequality comes in many forms for Black people, all over the world. But race-related health disparities are among the most rigid and most resistant to progress. Being a Black female further amplifies these inequities, which is particularly troubling and ironic given the fact that women of color, in particular, make up the majority of healthcare workers.
There are astonishing gaps in data collection for women’s health. Not to our surprise, it rarely reflects women of color. That needs to change.
Let’s dissect why this happens: we’d have to believe that traditional research is being done in metropolises like Boston and San Francisco, where not many women of color are represented. A simple expansion of research in health centers across the US will allow data to be collected from community health centers and urban hospitals, which serve women that wouldn’t normally be encountered. Simply put, it is an investment into diversified data for science and research studies to reflect a larger demographic of women.
Health conditions that disproportionately impact Black women, such as uterine fibroids, receive very little government research funding: Estimates reveal that nearly a quarter of Black women between the ages of 18 and 30 have fibroids — compared with 7 percent of white women. By age 35, that number increases to 60 percent.
Black women experience disparities in infertility rates, stigmatization, and access to fertility care: Infertility affects at least 12 percent of women who are of childbearing age, and studies suggest this number doubles for Black women in the US. More than 20 percent Black women may experience infertility.
Maternal mortality and injury rates are higher for Black females, irrespective of income or education level: Black women are nationally 3–4 times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than White women in the United States. Black women are also 3–4 times more likely to suffer from a severe disability resulting from childbirth than White women.
Black women are significantly underrepresented in key research datasets: Nearly 80 percent of all individuals included in genomic studies are of European descent. This leaves a significantly low percentage of representation for Black women.
Taken together, the picture is clear: the disparities we see in women’s health funding, research, delivery, innovation, data collection, and outcomes are consistently amplified multifold for women of color.
We need to take back our control through creating our own resources and prioritizing our health integratively. There is always more you can do. To learn more about The DeTox Now products and services and what may be the perfect fit for you, head over to our website and take our easy 3-Step Condition Quiz.