Black health issues

If you're African or African Caribbean and you live in the UK, you're more likely than people from other cultures to have certain health conditions, including high blood pressure (hypertension), diabetes and prostate cancer.

This is also the case for some mixed-race people of African or African Caribbean descent.

Experts aren’t sure why these conditions are more common in people of African and African Caribbean origin, but they think it may be linked to diet, lifestyle and different ways of storing fat in the body.

There are several ways to reduce your risk of these conditions. Follow these links to find out how to protect yourself against:

Mental health

People from African and African Caribbean communities are more likely than others to be admitted to hospital for mental illness. The same is also true for people of white and black mixed ethnicity.

Everyday life has a big impact on mental health, and black communities in the UK are still more likely than others to face issues such as bad housing, unemployment, stress and racism, all of which can make people ill.

Our section on mental health has information on where to go for help and support, and what you can do to maintain good mental health. 

Sickle cell disorder

Sickle cell disorder (SCD), sometimes called sickle cell disease or sickle cell, reduces the blood’s ability to carry oxygen around the body. It developed thousands of years ago in countries where malaria was common, and today it mainly affects people of African and African Caribbean origin.

SCD can also affect people from Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Asian communities. The most common type of SCD is sickle cell anaemia.

People can be carriers of sickle cell disorder without knowing it. If you're thinking of starting a family, it's important to get tested to see if you carry the gene.

Our section on sickle cell disorder provides information about the disorder, including symptoms and screening, and links to where you can get more help and support. There is also an article where a young woman talks about her experience of living with sickle cell anaemia.

Sickle cell disease: Rosalind's story

Rosalind has sickle cell disease, an inherited blood disorder. She explains how understanding the illness helps her to manage everyday life.

Media last reviewed: 10/07/2015

Next review due: 10/07/2017

Page last reviewed: 07/07/2014

Next review due: 07/07/2017


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