209370 Notorious: Health risk behaviors of black male college students

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 1:15 PM

Phoebe Butler-Ajibade, EdD , Department of Human Performance and Leisure Studies, North Carolina A & T State University, Greensboro, NC
The health status of black males is of concern. Black males have the shortest life expectancy among other groups in the United States. They also have higher rates of heart disease and certain cancers. Due to delayed health seeking behaviors, black males are more likely to suffer from untreated chronic diseases including heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and certain cancers ( e.g. prostate, colon, lung). Some researchers have declared that the black males' health is in a state of crises with regards to the rates of morbidity, mortality and disability in comparison to their white counterparts (Rich & Ro, 2002).

Although cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among black males, and automobile injuries are the second leading cause of death among males under the age of 40, much of the research literature on black men's health focuses on substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, prostate cancer, and sexual health risk taking.

Females have been shown to participate in more protective behaviors, in comparison to males. Courtenay (1997) found that men are more likely to participate in 30 behaviors that increase their incidence of disease, injury, and death. For example, men are more likely than women, to smoke cigarettes and binge drink (more than 5 drinks in a row).

Previous studies have examined the health behaviors of adolescent males and older adult males. Research has also focused on low income or incarcerated black males. Fewer studies have addressed the health behaviors of college aged black males.

The purpose of this study was to describe health risks among black males aged 18 -25, attending an HBCU at an urban university in the South. Health risks that were assessed can increase the likelihood of cardiovascular disease (BMI, smoking, weight management strategies) and injuries (seat belt use). The black male college students expressed an interest in improving their health risk appraisal scores through healthy lifestyle behaviors. The findings suggest a need for increased health promotion among this population.

Learning Objectives:
1. describe the health risks of black college males aged 18 - 25. 2. describe health goals of the black male college students. 3. identify health topics that black males stated that they wanted additional health information about.

Keywords: African American, Male Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked as a college health educator for the past 10 years. I have conducted numerous research studies on the health behaviors of college students.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.