INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Black Expo on Thursday released concerning statistics regarding COVID-19 rates among African Americans, along with health tips.
IBE says African Americans make up only 9.8% of the Indiana population but are contracting the coronavirus at a rate of three times that of Caucasians and are dying at a rate six times greater than Caucasians.
Approximately 17.6% of African Americans in Indiana have been infected with COVID-19, according to IBE.
Federal officials have linked these racial disparities to individual behavior, and the surgeon general has urged African Americans to “avoid alcohol, tobacco and drugs,” noted IBE.
“Lifestyle choices, general health and wellness habits, as well as tobacco use can worsen medical conditions such as asthma, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes, which make patients more vulnerable to the coronavirus,” IBE explained.
IBE released the following tips for maintaining overall physical and mental health:
- Eating a healthy diet helps keep the immune system in top condition. Remember the healthiest meals emphasize whole grains, vegetables, and fruits—serve them in the greatest amounts. Meat portions should be smaller.
- Exercising improves heart and lung efficiency and helps reduce your risk of heart disease.
- Getting plenty of rest allows your body to rest and restore energy, while at the same time carrying out important physiological and psychological functions that affect your physical and mental health.
- Quitting smoking and vaping shows that people who smoke develop serious health complications as a result of COVID-19.
Those who would like quit smoking can receive free help at 1-800-Quit Now or QuitNowIndiana.com
Young people who are interested in quitting vaping can text “Indiana” to 88709 to enroll in the free “this is Quitting” text message program.