More education typically leads to better health, yet Black men in the U.S. are not getting the same benefit as other groups, research suggests.
The reasons for the gap are vexing, experts said, but may provide an important window into unique challenges faced by Black men as they try to gain not only good health but also an equal footing in the U.S.
Generally, higher education means better-paying jobs and health insurance, healthier behaviors and longer lives. This is true across many demographic groups. And studies show life expectancy is higher for educated Black men — those with a college degree or higher — compared with those who have not finished high school.
But the increase is not as big as it is for whites. This comes on top of the many health obstacles Black men already face. They are more likely to die from chronic illnesses like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer than white men, and their life expectancy, on average, is lower. Experts point to a variety of factors that might play a role, but many said the most pervasive is racism.
Researchers note that Black women face many of the same challenges as Black men, but Black women generally have a longer life expectancy than Black men. (They also point out that it is hard to draw conclusions about Hispanic residents because of a lack of studies on the issues.) As a result, many experts said that the health problems stem from a persistent devaluation of Black men in U.S. society.
“At every level of income and education, there is still an effect of race,” said David Williams, a professor of public health at Harvard University who developed a scale nearly 30 years ago that quantified the connection between racism and health.
Read the complete article at: KHN