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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2010

State Health Department Celebrates National Minority Health Month
2010 theme - Man Up for Your Health! Healthy Men Move Our Communities Forward

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health Center for Minority Health Services is celebrating National Minority Health Month this April by hosting workshops, health fairs, screenings, webinars and various other events.  The Department, in conjunction with regional and local health departments, as well as community and faith-based organizations, is working to teach communities about the diseases that disproportionately affect communities of color, such as breast and cervical cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease, diabetes and HIV/AIDS.

“Significant health disparities exist for many preventable health conditions among minority groups,” Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Damon T. Arnold said.  “Although the health status of all Illinois citizens has improved, we are working hard to ensure all men, women and children receive the necessary care to eliminate health disparities among our minority populations.”

The 2010 theme of National Minority Health Month is:  Man up for Your Health! Healthy Men Move Our Communities Forward.  
 
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

• One in five American men has heart disease.
• One in three American adults has high blood pressure.
• Three in four American men are overweight.
• Nine in 10 lung cancer deaths are caused by cigarette smoking.

But as seen in the graph below, the mortality rate for non-Hispanic blacks is higher for many diseases than for non-Hispanic whites. 

 

2006 Mortality rate per 100,000 in Illinois

 

All races/ ethnicity

Whites/ non-Hispanic

Blacks/ non-Hispanic

Other race/ non-Hispanic

Hispanic (any race)

Heart disease

203.9

200.5

270.8

86.9

106.2

All cancers

187.7

187.8

244.1

89.9

103.1

Cerebrovascual diseases

45.2

43.3

59.5

27.8

34.5

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

37.0

39.8

30.2

10.8

11.7

Accidents

34.3

34.0

47.5

10.7

24.5

Diabetes

21.6

19.0

38.6

16.7

27.0

Alzheimer’s

20.4

21.3

19.2

7.0

8.4

Suicide

7.8

9.5

5.0

3.3

2.9

Homicide

6.7

1.8

28.2

0.4

6.2

Source:  Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program (www.seer.cancer.gov) SEER*Stat Database:  Mortality – All COD, Aggregated with State, Total U.S. (1990-2006) National Cancer Institute, DCCPS, Surveillance Research Program, Cancer Statistics Branch, release May 2009.  Underlying mortality data provided by (www.cdc.gov/nchs)

In July 2003, the Department created the Communities of Color Initiative to address these disparities.  The initiative works in conjunction with community-based and faith-based organizations, educational institutions and local health departments to provide health prevention information and screening services to these often underserved communities.  

Three things people can do for themselves this month is begin to:
• Eat healthier – eat more whole grains, fruits and vegetables
• Exercise regularly – talk a walk before or after you eat
• Get a regular checkup – make it a priority to visit your physician annually

For a calendar of events celebrating National Minority Health Month, log onto www.basuah.org.

 



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