W2 Reflection Post Prompt

Title: Write down the “race/s” you identify with and a health disparity that is disproportionately prevalence among that group.  (e.g. “Hypertension among African Americans”, “Cystic Fibrosis among White Americans”, “Cervical Cancer among Asian women”, etc)

Body: (300 words)

  • Insert a graph or image illustrating this health disparity [CITE YOUR SOURCE in Chicago style]
  • Explain the health disparity you chose in your title and explain why you think it is so prevalent among that group (genetic factors? social determinants?…) [CITE YOUR SOURCES in Chicago style]
  • Based on the materials from this week, explain the relationship between race, genetics, and health. Be thorough in your explanation and use examples from class.

Comment: (200 words)

  • Choose a post that identified a different health disparity in their title.
  • Read through their post and evaluate their explanation of the relationship between race, genetics and health? Is there something they didn’t consider? Did they mention something you wouldn’t have considered?
  • Tell them how useful you think racial categories are in clinical studies and offer them a better way of talking about racialized health disparities.

Category: “W2 Reflection”

Post Due: Friday 7/12

Comment Due: Sunday 7/14

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Hassan Ahsan says:


    Fig.1. © UNICEF/HQ04-1219/Vitale. Digital photo. Unicef.org. http://www.unicef.org/mdg/maternal.html. (accessed 12th July 2013).

    The health disparity I chose was the lack of adequate maternal health care for women in South East Asia. As a Pakistani American who lived several years in Pakistan, I not only identified with this race, but also experienced first hand the issue of poor maternal health. My mother suffered from premature labor and a traumatic C-section due to the lack of access to sanitation and basic needs such as electricity and quality medical training whilst living in that continent.

    According to 2010 statistics by the World Health Organization, the lifetime risk of death for a pregnant woman in Southern Asia is 1 in 160, which is a stark contrast to the risk of 1 in 3800 for a pregnant woman living in a developed region. (1)
    Some of the reasons that women face problems are connected to the country’s economic climate. The majority of South Asian countries are third world countries. Those not in that category would still be classified as developing nations. This means that such countries lack the resources to provide basic needs to their citizens such as sanitation, healthy foods and clean water and regular electricity.

    It also appears that gender and class play an important factor in the high levels of maternal health disparity among South Asian women. A research conducted by Zubia Mumtaz et al suggests that a woman’s social class affects her access to maternal health due to class-based marginalization by health care providers (2)

    A person’s race will impact their genetics and health and as the speaker Dorothy Roberts says, genetic race is a scientific truth according to general scientists. Your genetic race will dictate your body’s ability to control how healthy it can maintain itself. In one of the videos, it was shown how genetic health adapts to culture and environment. A couple that lived in Africa learned that their genetics mutated to adapt to the risk of anemia. That genetic mutation individually protected both the mother and father from the adverse risks of malaria but unfortunately one of their children inherited that gene from both parents causing her to suffer from sickle cell anemia. So an individual genetic mutation because a dangerous disease when doubled, demonstrating the complex relationship between race, genetics and health.

    1. “Trends in Maternal Mortality: 1990 to 2010.” http://www.who.int/en/. 2012. Accessed July 12, 2013. http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2012/9789241503631_eng.pdf.

    2. Mumtaz, Zubia, Sarah Salway, Laura Shanner, Shakila Zaman, and Lori Laing. “Addressing Disparities in Maternal Health Care in Pakistan: Gender, Class and Exclusion.” BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 12, no. 80 (August 7, 2012). Accessed July 12, 2013. doi:10.1186/1471-2393-12-80.

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