I assume that “South Asian” in this article means the racially mixed people of southern India and environs, who can be extremely dark and may have some portion of Negro ancestry. There are Negroes living on islands near India, and there was also a slave trade 1000 years ago that spread Negroes and Negro genes all over the Indian Ocean rim. Many “Middle Eastern” and “Mediterranean” people also have some Negro ancestry. The article avoids using clear racial terms, preferring instead to talk about “communities” and geographic origin, but most likely these conditions all pertain to Negro ancestry.
The aversion to considering race goes so far in the UK that screening for sickle cell is offered to White women, who are not at risk for it.
In spite of the fear of racial discussion, the article makes some race-specific suggestions for maintaining good health: e.g. Negroes should not eat all the same foods that White people eat, and they should not have their ears pierced or get tattoos.
When is someone going to take some concern about the special health needs of White people and make race-specific recommendations for us? Certainly a list could be compiled of things that Blacks do that Whites, for our own wellbeing, should not do, not just for physical but for mental health, and for maximizing our peculiar potentials.
Why good health is in the genes
7:00am Saturday 22nd November 2008
While all of us have the same general health concerns, some conditions are more prevalent in different races – with recent research revealing a higher rate of prostate cancer in black men. We look at black health and wellbeing.
By Gabrielle Fagan
While we all have the same general health concerns, some people may be more at risk from certain illnesses because of their race.
A UK study recently suggested that black men in England are three times more likely to develop prostate cancer than white men. Researchers at the University of Bristol looked at hospital records for both white and black men and found that the rate of prostate cancer was significantly higher among the black population.
Black men also tend to be diagnosed with prostate cancer at an earlier age, typically five years younger than white men.
Also African or African Caribbean people who live in the UK, along with those in the South Asian communities, are thought to be five times more likely to have diabetes. Both communities are also more at risk from high blood pressure and stroke than the general population.
Scientists are still trying to find out what may cause the increased risks, but diet and genes that affect the storing and processing of fat in the body may be important factors.
NHS Choices recently launched an online information site specifically targeting black health issues. “We identified a need for an information source on specific health issues affecting certain communities,” explains Mark Pownall, its senior clinical editor.
The site also focuses on inherited blood conditions that mainly affect people of African, Caribbean, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern or Asian origin, such as sickle cell anaemia.
“We hope it will raise awareness,” Pownall says. “It’s been well received, with a lot of interest in its guidance on how people can protect or improve their health.”
:: PROSTATE CANCER Men of African Caribbean origin are three times more likely to get prostate cancer – the most common cancer in men in the UK – than white men. They also tend to be diagnosed five years younger, a study of all cases by the University of Bristol, in London and Bristol found.
“The study indicates that there is a true biological difference between ethnic groups and this knowledge could potentially lead to improved care for men at higher risk of developing prostate cancer,” says Dr Joanna Peak, science information officer at Cancer Research UK.
Researchers are looking at what causes this increased risk, but diet – some research points to a higher risk in Western diets rich in saturated animal fats and red meat – and genes may be important factors.
:: SICKLE CELL ANAEMIA There are certain inherited blood conditions that mainly affect people of African, Caribbean, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern or Asian origin.
Sickle cell disease affects around 12,500 people in England, with around 9,000 sufferers in greater London, making it the most common inherited disease in the country.
It is a group of conditions but the most serious, and common, is sickle cell anaemia, with sufferers generally of African or Caribbean origin [i.e. Negroes].
The disease affects red blood cells, which help carry oxygen around the body, and these cells are distorted in shape into a sickle (crescent) shape, which means they can get stuck in blood vessels and block the flow of blood.
People are born with sickle cell anaemia, inheriting it from their parents. If both parents carry the gene for sickle haemoglobin, there is a one in four chance the child will have sickle cell anaemia.
A simple blood test shows whether a person is a carrier of the sickle cell gene – carriers do not have symptoms. Men and women should find out whether they are a carrier before they start a family so they can get information and find out what choices they can make.
In England all pregnant women are offered screening , and newborn babies are offered a test for the disease. [All White women are offered screening to determine whether they carry sickle cell? This is non-discrimination carried to the point of absurdity!]
Symptoms can include episodes of pain in the joints, bones, stomach and chest and more severe symptoms may include chronic anaemia, jaundice and damage over time to the heart, lungs and liver.
:: BLOOD PRESSURE AND STROKE People from the African and African Caribbean communities [i.e. Negroes] are more at risk of high blood pressure and stroke, than the general population.
“It’s not fully understood why African Caribbean people are likely to have high blood pressure,” says Professor Graham MacGregor of the Blood Pressure Association.
“However, we know that a healthy diet combined with exercise and awareness can make a vital difference in preventing early death from stroke, heart attack or heart disease.”
The Blood Pressure Association has a booklet, Healthy Eating The African Caribbean Way, available from 0208 772 4994/www.bpassoc.co.uk. [This is funny. They are recommending that Blacks eat a special diet suited to their race.]
:: DIABETES Those in the African Caribbean and South Asian communities in the UK are thought to be five times more likely than white people to have diabetes, according to Diabetes UK.
Diabetes is a condition in which the body can’t deal properly with glucose (sugar) in food. There are more than two million sufferers in the UK.
“Diabetes prevalence in the South Asian community is six times higher than in the general population and five times greater in people of Black or African Caribbean origin,” says Jenne Dixit, equality and diversity officer at Diabetes UK.
She urges those of South Asian, Black or African Caribbean origin, who are over 25, have diabetes in the family and/or a waist measurement of 31.5 inches or more for females, 35 inches or more for South Asian males, or 37 inches for black males, should ask a GP for a test for diabetes.
“It is vital that we raise awareness and show people that reducing the risk of diabetes is by having a healthy, balanced diet and doing 30 minutes of activity at least five days a week,” she says.
“People can still follow their traditional diet, but they can do it more healthily. So instead of frying with a lot of oil, use only a teaspoonful, or try baking and steaming instead.”
:: KELOID SCARRING Some scars grow lumpy and larger than the wound they are healing. While this can happen to anybody, it is more likely in people with black skin.
Although rarely painful, sufferers can feel embarrassed or upset if the scar is particularly visible.
“A keloid scar is an overgrown scar that can spread outside the original area of skin damage,” says Indy Rihal of the British Skin Foundation.
“People with dark skin get keloids much more easily than people with fairer skin, and it is common in people with black skin. They’re most common between the ages of 10 and 30, and can run in families,” Rihal says.
“Keloid scars are shiny and raised above the surrounding skin, and can feel hard and rubbery. They can appear anywhere, but tend to form on the shoulders, head and neck.”
You can’t stop a keloid from happening, but you can avoid any deliberate cuts or breaks in the skin, for example tattoos or piercings, including on the earlobes.
“Avoid surgery on the skin for cosmetic purposes, and if you have acne, see your doctor to have it treated and minimise the risk of scarring,” says Rihal.
:: See www.nhs.uk/livewell/blackhealth for more information on black health.
[Source: http://www.halesowennews.co.uk/newsxtra/3849277.print/ ]