When talking about health disparities in the District, the narrative is usually the same: African American residents in Wards 7 and 8 are either at risk or are greatly impacted by illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, kidney disease and cases of sexually transmitted diseases. These disparities are so well-known, they aren’t even newsworthy any more; it’s almost as if we can no longer see them.
A report by Georgetown University on health disparities in the District found that African American residents are being left behind. For instance, African American residents are six times more likely than white residents to die from diabetes-related complications, and twice as likely to die from coronary heart disease. Despite DC’s rapid economic growth and increasing prosperity, “health outcomes and quality of life indicators for African American residents do not reflect trends of the general population,” the report finds.