African-American health

Susannah Lohr | St. Louis Public Radio

Imagine you're looking at a map of the St. Louis region. Now fold that map in half horizontally.

Below the fold, you'd mostly see healthy people living long lives, having no trouble finding doctors or hospitals or fresh fruit and vegetables. Above the fold, you'd see a different, starker picture. Above the fold, there are fewer healthy people, higher rates of infant mortality and few hospitals.   

Joining host Don Marsh were (from L to R) Vanessa Cooksey, Jason Purnell and Yemi Akande-Bartsch
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

For the Sake of All” is an interdisciplinary project addressing the health and well-being of African Americans in St. Louis and St. Louis County that began in 2013. A collaboration of Washington University and Saint Louis University, the project issued five policy briefs illuminating major areas of concern. The first phase culminated in May 2014 with a final report outlining six recommendations.

Harris-Stowe University is offering free HIV testing, education and entertainment on Saturday, National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

The St. Louis Department of Health reports the HIV rate was nearly five times higher in St. Louis’ black community than in the white community in 2012. Increasing HIV testing can reduce the rate of HIV infection. On Saturday, Turn Up for Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day will offer free HIV testing, health screenings and performances.

Dr. Leonard Bacharier, a Washington University pediatrician and asthma expert, consults with a patient at St. Louis Children's Hospital.
Robert Boston|St. Louis Children's Hospital

Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis needs African Americans with asthma to enroll in a study evaluating different treatments.

Previous research suggests that some medications may not work as well for blacks as for whites.

Sherry Payne

A Missouri registered nurse who had to abandon plans to walk across the state to raise awareness of black infant mortality rates made her final stop in St. Louis Friday.

Sherry Payne, who is the director of the perinatal health organization Uzazi Village based in Kansas City, gave a presentation at St. Louis University on ways to improve birth outcomes for black babies.

National Institutes of Health

An international study initiated by Washington University has found that giving monthly blood transfusions to children with sickle cell anemia can significantly reduce their risk of what are known as “silent” strokes.

Unlike regular strokes, which have sudden, overt symptoms like difficulty speaking or numbness in an arm or leg, silent strokes can only be detected with an MRI scan, so they generally go unnoticed by parents and physicians.

For the Sake of All

If your skin isn’t black, why should you care about the health and well-being of African Americans in the St. Louis region?

That’s just one of the questions Washington University public health researcher Jason Purnell and his team set out to answer in a project called For the Sake of All.

Purnell, along with colleagues from Washington University and St. Louis University, assessed racial health disparities in the region and their larger impact over the course of 14 months.

Nanette Hegamin

Scholars involved in a five-part study that examines the well-being of African Americans in the St. Louis region will seek public feedback on their research during a forum on March 3 at the Forest Park Visitor Center. The session, from 2 to 5 p.m., is free, but participants must sign up through the event registration page.

A graphic included in the For The Sake of All report shows the economic divide along Delmar Blvd in St. Louis.
For the Sake of All

Fourth Brief: For the Sake of All

In the fourth policy brief from For the Sake of All, a collaborative, inter-disciplinary study on the health of African Americans in St. Louis and St. Louis County, researchers focused on the role segregation plays on health in the area. It is titled "Segregation: Divided Cities Lead to Differences in Health."

comedy nose | Flickr

Second Brief: For the Sake of All

The second of five briefs from a multi-disciplinary study on African-American health in St. Louis and St. Louis County was released last week. It details how health issues lead African American high schoolers in the region to drop out of school.

National Cancer Institute | Wikimedia Commons

First Brief: For the Sake of All

A disproportionate number of African Americans in St. Louis live in poverty and lack a high school education. African-American St. Louisans also have a higher death rate than white St. Louisans. According to a multi-disciplinary study currently under way in St. Louis, there is a connection between the two trends.

(National Cancer Institute/Bill Branson)

Saint Louis University is launching a new initiative to try to fight cancer in minorities.

The SLU Center for Cancer Prevention, Research and Outreach will work with community organizations to improve cancer outcomes for African Americans living in North St. Louis City and County.

The initiative will initially focus on breast and prostate cancer.

(National Cancer Institute/Bill Branson)

A new project in north St. Louis aims to lower breast cancer death rates for women of color.

Washington University sociologist Sarah Gehlert says even though nationwide white women are more likely to get breast cancer, black women are about 35 percent more likely to die of the disease.

She says in St. Louis that number is closer to 60 percent.