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Health Roundup Food Allergy & Mortality Rates Among African-Americans

Higher percent of food allergies in Black Children

A national study done by Dr. Rajesh Kumar, associate professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University, and a team of researchers found that black people are twice as likely to have allergic reactions to peanuts than whites.

Kumar and his team examined the relationship between allergies and race or African ancestry in an urban population. They tested the group of 1,104 children who were all born in Boston Medical Center for antibodies associated with eight allergens: egg whites, milk, peanuts, soy, shrimp, walnuts, wheat and cod.

In the group of predominantly Blacks and Hispanics, 36 percent of Black children showed signs of a food sensitivity compared to 22 percent in the white children, concluding that the risks to allergies were higher. The researchers also examined genetic makeup and found that every 10 percent increase in African ancestry was associated with a 25 percent rise in the risk of peanut allergy.

Mortality Rate Increased with Overweight Black Females, Study Shows

A 13-year study published in the Sept. 8 issue of New England Journal of Medicine involving 33,916 nonsmoking women with no prior history of cancer or cardiovascular disease found that overweight black women are more likely to die.

The women who were part of the Black Women’s Health Study had their body mass index, or BMI, and waist circumference measured. Results showed that women with a BMI of 20 or higher had an 18 percent increase in death during the study with every five-unit rise in BMI.

“Our findings highlight the importance for women to maintain a healthy weight and keep extra inches off the waist in order to decrease their risk of death,” said lead study author Deborah Boggs in a news release. “The present findings indicate that the risk of death in black women increases with [an] increasing BMI of 25 or higher, similar to the pattern in white populations.”

Women who were overweight had two times the risk of death from cardiovascular disease than women considered to have a healthy weight for obese women were three times higher than woman with normal-weight.

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