Dr. Nancy Snyderman Details Differences Between Races in Health Matters


This morning on the Today Show Dr. Nancy Snyderman made the following comment during the segment where Matt Lauer and Al Roker both get prostate exams.  Before Al went in to get his exam she said:

Sometime back in the 70′s we quit considering race in medicine.  We know now there is a difference.  So its good you’re doing this.

Well isn’t that interesting?  I’m surprised she admitted this on live TV.  Somehow though, when she says it, its ok.  If it were a White man talking about the differences between White and black women’s health issues there would be hue and cry.

Dr. Snyderman said something that many of us who aren’t even doctors have known a long time.  There are biological differences between the races, and they need to be noted.   Its good to know the medical community may actually be starting to speak out publicly about these differences.  Lets hope they expound upon these differences and start telling the whole truth that Whites are generally healthier than blacks on the whole.

Although its hotly debated, blacks score lower than Whites on tests and do poorer in school.  Studies show that blacks generally have lower IQ than Whites:

Rushton & Jensen (2005) write that, in the United States, self-identified blacks and whites have been the subjects of the greatest number of studies. They state that the black-white IQ difference is about 15 to 18 points or 1 to 1.1 standard deviations (SDs), which implies that between 11 and 16 percent of the black population have an IQ above 100 (the general population median). The black-white IQ difference is largest on those components of IQ tests that are claimed best to represent the general intelligence factorg.[11] The 1996 APA report “Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns” and the 1994 editorial statement “Mainstream Science on Intelligence” gave more or less similar estimates.[42][43]Roth et al. (2001), in a review of the results of a total of 6,246,729 participants on other tests of cognitive ability or aptitude, found a difference in mean IQ scores between blacks and whites of 1.1 SD. Consistent results were found for college and university application tests such as the Scholastic Aptitude Test (N = 2.4 million) and Graduate Record Examination (N = 2.3 million), as well as for tests of job applicants in corporate sections (N = 0.5 million) and in the military (N = 0.4 million)…[44]

A 1996 report by the American Psychological Association states that controlled studies show that differences in mean IQ scores were not substantially due to bias in the content or administration of the IQ tests. Furthermore, the tests are equally valid predictors of future achievement for black and white Americans.[42] This view is reinforced by Nicholas Mackintosh in his 1998 book IQ and Human Intelligence,[66] and by a 1999 literature review by Brown, Reynolds & Whitaker (1999).[67]

Blacks have a higher infant mortality rate:

During 1979-1981, infant mortality was the second leading cause of excess deaths among blacks aged less than 45 years, accounting for approximately 6000 more deaths among black infants than among white infants (2). Since 1960, rates for infant mortality and low birthweight (LBW) (less than 2500 g {less than 5 lbs, 8 oz}) for blacks were twice those for whites; these ratios remained stable through the early 1980s. [more]

Blacks are at higher risk for visual problems:

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide.1 It is characterized by retinal ganglion cell death that results in optic nerve damage and visual field loss. Primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) is the most prevalent form of glaucoma. Racial differences in the prevalence of POAG are well documented and show that blacks are at higher risk for POAG than whites.2 The reported prevalence rates are as much as 6 times higher in blacks as in whites.3– 6 Primary open-angle glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in blacks,3,7 and blacks with POAG are more likely than whites to develop visual impairment8 and blindness.8– 10 Furthermore, POAG progresses more rapidly11 and appears approximately 10 years earlier in blacks than in whites.3,5,11 [more]

Blacks have higher incidents of heart disease and deaths related to it:

This report examines the trend in age-specific IHD death rates for blacks and whites from 1981 through 1995 (the latest year for which data are available) and indicates that, in the younger age groups (35-64 years), blacks have a higher risk for IHD death than whites…

Since the mid-1970s, whites (especially white men) have experienced greater declines than blacks in age-adjusted IHD (ischemic Heart Disease) death rates… [more]

Blacks have higher rate of kidney disease:

End-stage renal disease disproportionately affects black persons, but it is unknown when in the course of chronic kidney disease racial differences arise. Understanding the natural history of racial differences in kidney disease may help guide efforts to reduce disparities…

In the US, black individuals shoulder a disproportionate burden of end-stage renal disease, comprising 32% of the end-stage renal disease population, but only 13% of the general population… [more]

Blacks have higher rates of diabetes:

The burden of diabetes is much higher for racial/ethnic minorities than for whites. Minorities have a higher prevalence of diabetes than whites, and some minorities have higher rates of diabetes-related complications and death. Research results help in understanding these disparities and ways to reduce them… [more]

I could go on but I wont.  I think you’ve got the general idea that blacks are generally less healthy than Whites.  To Dr. Nancy Snyderman and what seems like her sudden revelation I say, “DUH!”