American Born Blacks Aren’t As Healthy As African, Caribbean Immigrants


By Daily News

A new study from the city’s Health Department examining health discrepancies among black New Yorkers found that Caribbean and African immigrants tend to have fewer health problems like asthma and obesity than American-born blacks.

American-born blacks are also more apt to smoke and drink than blacks who are originally from other countries, the study says.

Some 53% of American blacks labeled themselves as drinkers, compared with 44% of Caribbeans and 34% of Africans.

No black group drinks as much as white New Yorkers, 70% of whom reported being drinkers, the study found.

Health Commissioner Mary Bassett said the study shows “communities of color are not monolithic.”

“It is sobering that immigrants of African descent, on average, have better health and fewer risk factors than the native born,” she said in a statement.

The differences are most disturbing when it comes to chronic diseases, the study found.

U.S.-born blacks were more likely to have high blood pressure, with a rate of 38%.

The rate was 35% among Caribbean-born New Yorkers, and 30% among Africans.

The numbers are equally startling when it comes to obesity, which affects 36% of American blacks, compared with 29% of Caribbeans and 21% of Africans.

The rate of asthma is also higher among American-born blacks.

Seventeen percent of blacks born in the U.S. and living in New York suffer from the disease, well above the 9% rate among Caribbeans and 3% rate among Africans.

The different groups all had roughly the same rate of diabetes — between 13% and 14% — which is about double the rate of whites.

The study was conducted by the Health Department’s Center for Health Equity, which was founded in 2014 and tries to improve the lives of inner city communities that historically have poor health outcomes.

Officials praised the study for shining a light on communities that are often lumped together, but actually have different needs.

“When it publishes information like today’s data brief, the Health Department helps all of us focus on the city’s health inequities and how to address them,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.

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