Minority groups across the country suffer from differences in health. These health disparities include less access to healthcare or a higher risk of getting sick.
Every April, National Minority Health Month sheds a light on this gap. The goal is to improve the health of minorities.
Did you know that donating blood can help close the minority health gap? It addresses many health disparities by catching hidden issues, treating diseases, and more!
Free health and wellness check-ups
Racial or ethnic minority populations have the highest rates of uninsured individuals in the U.S. For example, 17.7% of the Hispanic/Latino population was not covered by health insurance in 2021, one of the highest rates of any group.
Not having healthcare means you have a higher chance of not realizing you have a health problem. However, donating blood can potentially catch some of these underlying issues.
OneBlood provides all blood donors with a free health screening. We will check your blood pressure, pulse, temperature, iron count, and cholesterol. These wellness checkups have saved the lives of many who volunteer to give blood.
Reduce the risk of heart disease
Pre-donation wellness check-ups can help detect hidden issues, but donating blood in itself has health benefits too. Being a regular donor may reduce your blood pressure and cholesterol. It can also keep your iron level balanced.
This is especially helpful for minorities since they are most at risk of heart disease. For example, 47% of Black adults have been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, compared with 36% of white adults. 1 in 4 American Indian adults have diabetes (a major risk factor for heart disease), compared with 1 in 12 white adults.
Giving from the heart is truly good for the heart, reducing your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Diversify the blood supply
Donating blood can improve the health of minority donors and also minority blood recipients. It does this by creating a more diverse donor pool.
Some blood disorders occur more in minority groups. Sickle cell disease is most common in African Americans and Latinos. Thalassemia is seen more in South Asian and Mediterranean American populations. These patients need frequent blood transfusions to live.
Although a blood donor from any racial or ethnic group could be a match for a patient, the best match is one with a similar ethnicity. 1 in 2 African American donors with Type O blood is a match for sickle cell patients, compared to only 1 in 40 from other ethnicities. Yet only 5% of African Americans give blood.
The need is real. More blood donors from minority groups are needed to diversify the blood supply and help treat minority related diseases.
The benefits of donating blood can help bridge the minority health gap in so many ways. Join us in celebrating National Minority Health Month by booking your next donation appointment now. It could save your life as well as others!