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 Health Equity Can't Wait During National Minority Health Month

April 9, 2012    Contact: Sue Crosson-Knutson    312-334-2311

CHICAGO - “Behind health statistics are real people with real healthcare needs,” said Niten Singh, M.D., a member of the Society for Vascular Surgery®. “These are the people I see in my medical practice every day.”

Health Equity Can’t Wait. Act Now in your CommUNITY is the April 2012 theme for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Minority Health Month. Federal government statistics reveal that African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians and Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders have higher rates of illness and death from: heart disease, stroke, specific cancers, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, asthma, hepatitis B, and overweight and obesity.

“At the community level, we need to address cultural barriers, lifestyle choices, access to healthcare, and nutritious food,” said Dr. Singh. “Prevention is important. As a vascular surgeon, the minority health issues I treat on a daily basis are high blood pressure, stroke, and obesity.”  

The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services reports:

High blood pressure

.  34 percent of African Americans have high blood pressure compared with 24 percent of whites (2009 statistics). 
.  American Indian / Alaska Native adults are 1.3 times as likely as white adults to have high blood pressure.


• Compared with whites, African American adults are 1.5 times more likely to have a stroke and 50 percent more likely to die from the condition.

• In general, American Indian / Alaska Native adults are 60% more likely to have a stroke than their white adult counterparts.


• Seventy-three percent of Mexican American women are obese or overweight compared with 61.1 percent of the general female U.S. population

• Native Hawaiian / Pacific Islanders are 3.7 times more likely to be obese than the overall Asian American population.

“This month, we need to reach out to our communities and share the message of exercise, nutrition, not smoking, and maintaining a healthy body weight,” said Dr. Singh. Additional information about vascular health appears on:
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About the Society for Vascular Surgery®

The Society for Vascular Surgery® (SVS) is a not-for-profit professional medical society, composed primarily of vascular surgeons, that seeks to advance excellence and innovation in vascular health through education, advocacy, research, and public awareness. SVS is the national advocate for 3,750 specialty-trained vascular surgeons and other medical professionals who are dedicated to the prevention and cure of vascular disease. Visit its Web site at®. Follow SVS on Twitter and Facebook.

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