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[World Report] Profile: NIMHD—NIH’s institute for minority health

For many Americans, health disparities are a fact of life—and death. Compared with white people, minorities are more likely to have and die from obesity, hypertension, heart attacks, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. On average, African-American people live 4 years less than do white people. The causes of these health disparities are a complex mixture of social and genetic factors, and they affect everything from the choices people make to how they interact with medical providers to how the system interacts with them.