African-American men in poverty saw a 2.7 times higher risk of death than African-American men living above poverty status, the researchers found. The main causes of death were heart disease and cancer, revealed a new research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine.
The findings are based on a study of healthy aging in diverse neighborhoods that recruited 3,720 participants, including black and white men and women of various incomes. Their average age was 48. The same disparity was not seen among white men.
‘African-American men in poverty saw a 2.7 times higher risk of death than African-American men living above poverty status.’
Poor white males faced about the same risk of dying as white men above the poverty line, the study found.
Among women, both blacks and whites in poverty were about twice as likely to die young as those who were not poor.
The study, led by Alan Zonderman of the National Institute on Aging, set the poverty line for a family of four at $24,000.
The government defines poverty as earning less than $24,300 for a family of four or $11,880 per year for a single person.
"African American males are feared and marginalized in American society. This lifelong ostracism facilitates cascading negative outcomes in education, employment and in interaction with the criminal justice system," Zonderman said. "The resultant poverty is a virulent health risk factor for African American men."