February is Black History Month, a recognition of the triumphs and adversities that are a part of the fabric our country’s history. Black history continues to grow as today becomes yesterday and enters the history books. Racism and the injustices that accompany it are still a part of modern life. Although the racism may look different from those of decades ago, the adverse impact on the health and quality of life of Blacks is not. Black History Month is a good reminder that we all can and must work to eliminate these inequalities!
This month is also American Heart Month, a time when the nation spotlights cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death of in the US. Heart disease and stroke disproportionately affect Black Americans. The death rate due to stroke is higher for Blacks than among all racial and ethnic groups. Black adults are at significantly higher risk (1.6-2.4 times) for cardiovascular disease than white adults. A recent study found that Black’s high cardiovascular disease risk is not due to race itself, rebutting the idea that the higher risk is ‘unexplained’ or genetic. The large differences in cardiovascular risks can be explained by differences in social determinants of health (such as education or neighborhood-level poverty), clinical factors (like blood pressure) and lifestyle behaviors (like dietary quality). Check out Heart Month’s “Live to the Beat” campaign, which focuses on empowering Black adults ages 35 to 54 to take steps to reduce their risks for cardiovascular disease!
This Weekend Reading Series begins with News Watch with stories on a new CVS Health initiative in Detroit, the GoodRx data leak and more. Next, check out the Mind the Gap with articles on healthcare disparities – including one by David Hecker, AFT MI – an AEPC member organization! In End of the Road, explore articles on the expected impact of the end of the Covid-19 emergency declaration in May and competition for Humira. Finally, do not miss Inspired Living and my person favorite – A Smirk, a Smile, a Clenched Fist: What the Movies Taught Me to See!
I hope you enjoy the following:
1. News Watch
- CVS Health teams with WSU to improve health outcomes in underserved communities (Wayne State University Medical News)
- GoodRx leaked sensitive health information to Facebook and Google, FTC alleges (STAT)
- Survey: A majority of Americans support banning all tobacco products (STAT)
- Commonwealth Fund: US has lower life expectancy but spends most on health compared to other countries (Fierce Healthcare)
2. Mind the Gap
- David Hecker: What does Damar Hamlin have to do with worker safety? More than you think. (Michigan Advance)
- Black Stroke Survivors Less Likely to Get Treated for Complications (HealthDay)
- MRI scans reveal disparate impact of poverty and other ‘toxic stress’ on brains of Black children (STAT)
3. End of the Road
- AbbVie’s blockbuster drug Humira finally loses its 20-year, $200 billion monopoly (NPR)
- What Happens When COVID-19 Emergency Declarations End? Implications for Coverage, Costs, and Access (KFF)
- As Pandemic-Era Medicaid Provisions Lapse, Millions Approach a Coverage Cliff (Kaiser Health News)
4. Against the Odds
- Making Music Only with His Eyes – ALS didn’t keep a man from his lifelong passion for producing music (University of MI Medicine)
- A Smirk, a Smile, a Clenched Fist: What the Movies Taught Me to See (The New Yok Times)
- In 1946, a Black Pilot Returned to the Cockpit After a Double Amputation (The Smithsonian Magazine)
Enjoy your weekend!
Suzanne Daniels, Ph.D.
P.O. Box 1416
Birmingham, MI 48012
Office: (248) 792-2187
Email: [email protected]