The relationship between race, genetics, and health is both positive and negative throughout the world and especially in the United States. In the United Sates, the social construct of race has created different socioeconomic classes that can used as a pretty accurate indicator of ones health. This can be positive or negative depending on whether you belong to a minority or not. Genetics are tied in with health giving you advantageous genes in some cases and others not. For example in terms of race determining health, in the United States African Americans are more prone to kidney failure than any other race. Unfortunately, in the US as brought on by the projects, African Americans are more likely to be in food deserts that don’t allow for proper nutrition. This leads to obesity, diabetes, and hypertension, the three leading causes of kidney failure in the US. Another example to show the relationship of genes and health would be Sickle Cell Anemia in African Americans. This is some ways is advantageous in the fact you are immune to malaria if you have a single gene carrying the disease. On the flip side your health is greatly impacted if you receive both genes, resulting in the manifestation of the disease.
The health disparity I chose to highlight is heart disease among white males. In the United States, white males have a higher chance than anyone to develop heart disease at some point in their life. There are many things that I would attribute this to. Stress, obesity, lack of a proper diet and exercise are all things that can lead to heart disease. I think that the foundation of American culture which requires a long work week could be the culprit. This is an economic factor that is directly impacting the health of white males. Working a 40 plus hour work week could cause stress, lack of time to eat right, and most importantly no exercise. Since White males are a large percentage of the population, they are going to have a high percentage of people affected by this problem.
Women’s Health USA. “Heart Disease and Stroke.” , Women’s Health USA 2011. http://mchb.hrsa.gov/whusa11/hstat/hshi/pages/213hds.html (accessed July 13, 2016)