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Does Being a Person of Color Increase Your Health Risks?

The US has become more ethnically diverse in the last century, and in general our health and the quality of care we receive has improved. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case for some people of color. In fact, certain medical conditions and health behaviors—and the factors that can lead to them—are more common or severe among some people of color. Below are facts about 5 such conditions and behaviors, followed by steps you can take to help prevent them.

Diabetes. Among adults in the US, diabetes is the main cause of kidney failure, certain kinds of lower limb amputation, and new cases of blindness. It is also a major cause of heart disease.

Heart health. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US.

Obesity. Obesity is a risk factor for a number of serious disease and health conditions including heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer. While the rate of obesity is high among all population groups in the US, there are differences among people of color.

Cancer. Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the US. Only heart disease kills more people.

Smoking. Tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of death and disease in the US.

Steps to take to improve your health

There are things you can do to protect or improve your health. For example, you can:



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