Prevalent health concerns among African American women belonging to a national volunteer service organization (the links, incorporated)

Gladys B. Asiedu, Sharonne N. Hayes, Karen Patricia Williams, Matthew R. Bondaryk, Michele Y. Halyard, Monica W. Parker, Joyce Balls-Berry, Vivian W. Pinn, Carmen Radecki Breitkopf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Objective African American women bear a disproportionate burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer. The purpose of this study was to identify prevalent health concerns among African American women who are members of The Links, Incorporated (Links), a large national service organization with health programming for communities of color. Methods Survey data (n = 391) were collected during the 2012 Links National Assembly. Twenty-six health issues were presented within five groups: cancer, CVD, pulmonary disease, chronic conditions, and behavioral health. For each issue, women indicated if it was a concern for “you/your family” or “the African American community” via checkboxes. Differences in the proportions for “you/your family” and “the African American community” were evaluated using the McNemar test. Results Hypertension was the most frequently endorsed concern for you/your family (79 %); 73 % indicated this was a concern for the African American community. Sickle cell anemia was the most frequently endorsed concern for the African American community (77%).Melanoma was the least endorsed health issue overall (15 % you/your family, 55 % community). Breast was the most frequently endorsed cancer concern, while lung was among the least. For 23 out of 26 health issues, the proportion concerned was greater for the “African American community” than for “you/your family” (all p<0.05). Conclusion CVD and breast cancer were salient concerns; both are topics for which national awareness campaigns and Links health programming exist. Comparatively lower concern was observed for melanoma, a cancer with known survival disparities, and for lung cancer, a leading cause of death in women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-24
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of racial and ethnic health disparities
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 22 2015



  • African American
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Health disparities
  • Health priorities
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Anthropology
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this