Race, genetics, and health are all interconnected because both race and genetics can have an effect on an individuals health. Certain races are more prone to particular diseases such as Malaria in Africans or Osteoporosis in American and Asian women. Genetics also plays a role in someones health because some diseases are passed from parents to offspring such as sickle cell. Possible explanations for this correlation or trend between genetics or race and a certain disease can be attributed to the individuals environment, socioeconomic status, and other factors.
The health disparity I chose was Osteoporosis, which is a disease that causes bones to become weak and more prone to breaks. Osteoporosis is often called the “silent disease” because an individual can lose bone density with no physical signs, it often goes unnoticed until a fall or strain causes a bone to break (the most common bones to break with this disease are the wrist, spine and hip). While men can have this disease it is seen more frequently in women, this could be explained by the fact that women go through menopause and experience a significant drop in their estrogen levels which can cause osteoporosis. The risk of osteoporosis also increases with age and white and asian women tend to be more prone to this disease when compared with women of black or hispanic ethnicity. These trends can be explained both by genetic factors and social determinants. For example, osteoporosis runs in families and a genetically inherited traits that increase bone strength are more common in black and hispanic people than white and asian. Men and women of hispanic and black heritage also tend to have higher bone densities while individuals of caucasian, european, and asian have lower bone densities and tend to have smaller body frames. Some social determinants are diet and exercise. Individuals who have a calcium and vitamin D rich diet tend to have stronger bones than someone who doesn’t, and individuals who don’t smoke or consume alcohol in excess have a smaller chance of having osteoporosis. Also those who exercise regualrly have stronger bones.