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Diabetes, hypertension leading health concerns among African-American women, UC survey shows

Researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Nursing conducted a community-based survey to identify health care needs as perceived by African-American women in the Cincinnati metropolitan area. Over 200 women between the ages of 21-91 took part in the survey, with the results focused on two health concerns common in African-American women: diabetes and hypertension.

“As an African-American woman, I know there are disparities in health care in our community, but we didn’t know the depth of it in this area,” says Jean Anthony, PhD, associate professor in the UC College of Nursing, one of the researchers involved in this study. “We really hadn’t heard from the women, and as we looked at some of the existing research studies, they weren’t asking the in-depth questions that we felt needed to be asked. So we developed this survey which gives us a tremendous amount of information and understanding about why some of these disparities and health conditions continue to exist.”

Out of 202 survey participants, 27% reported hypertension. Of those, 61% reported obesity and weight concerns, 11% have diabetes and 9% smoke. Also in the survey group, 11% reported diabetes with 7% reporting prediabetes. Of those reporting diabetes, 52% have obesity and weight concerns, 26% also have hypertension, 13% have heart disease and 13% smoke.

The surveys were conducted via email, in churches and at the 2018 Health Expo at Washington Park in Over-the-Rhine and reflects UC’s commitment to urban impact, as outlined in its strategic direction Next Lives Here.. The Health Expo is put on by The Health Gap, a community health grassroots organization with a mission of eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities, and making Cincinnati a healthier place to live by promoting a culture of health where citizens live, work and play. The 2019 Health Expo will be held on Saturday, April 27, 2019 in Washington Park. 

The research was funded by a Rabinowitz Award from the office of the dean of the College of Nursing, Greer Glazer, PhD, in the amount of $8,680. Other researchers involved in the project include Adelaide Harris, DNP, MEd, Holly Jones, PhD, assistant professors and Donna Shambley-Ebron, PhD, associate professor, all in the College of Nursing.

Featured image at top: Donna Shambley-Ebron, Jean Anthony, Holly Jones, and Adelaide Harris in the UC College of Nursing. Photo by Colleen Kelley/AHC Communication Services.