To be honest I did very poorly on the health quiz, I got a 40%. What I found most interesting about the quiz though was the fact that America is so behind on the life expectancy list! The statistic about the United States life expectancy comparing 29th to other countries absolutely blew my mind considering how technologically advanced we are in our society.
The video I chose was regarding the premature births and higher death rates of children born to African American women living in the United States. This video was actually very interesting in the fact that it took all of the factors we talked about (genetics, economy, environment, etc.) and analyzed all of them in order to determine the leading cause of this prevalence. Initially there were studies to determine if socioeconomic status and education were the causes of this issue. Surprisingly it was found that these factors had very little to do with infant mortality rates and early birth rates, in fact the video stated that an educated African American women has a worse birth outcome than a white woman who does not even have a high school degree.
The studies then moved on to genetics, studying the theory that there may in fact be a “prematurity gene” that was more prevalent in African Americans. This factor too was found to be irrelevant as there is no such gene. However it was found that African American women who moved to the US from Africa were more likely to have higher infant mortality rates by their second generation, insinuating that it was due to some factor of American society. African American women born and raised in America as well as white women had much lower rates.
In the end, the video concluded that the most influential factor of these rates was in fact RACISM. The chronic stress due to racist events, comments, etc. is thought to be the main reason that African American have such a higher rate of birth issues. The video mentioned that black women are 50% more conscious about their race than white women, and that this constant mind set leads to stress factors such as inflammation which in turn can lead to early labor.
Therefore it was very interesting to see that all genetic factors aside, this increase was due to the method of treatment by other human beings. The fact that as people we can have such a significant impact on other people’s lives with simply our words and actions is absolutely mind blowing.