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Author Notes:

Address correspondence to Carmen Radecki Breitkopf, PhD, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Department of Health Sciences Research, Division of Health Care Policy & Research, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, United States. Telephone: 507-266-0969; Fax: 507-266-2478; radeckbreitkopf.carmen@mayo.edu

Dr. Radecki Breitkopf had full access to all the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data.

She analyzed the data with Mr. Bondaryk and drafted the manuscript with Dr. Asiedu. Drs. Hayes, Williams, Halyard, Parker, Balls-Berry, and Pinn contributed to data collection and provided organizational knowledge and content expertise for this work.

All authors contributed to the writing of the final manuscript.

No financial disclosures were reported by the authors of this paper.

The results of this study were presented at the 22nd Annual Women’s Health Congress (April 4–6, 2014) in Washington, D.C.

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Mayo Clinic Institutional Review Board and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

All authors have declared that they have no conflict of interest. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


Research Funding:

Financial support for this research was provided by the Mayo Clinic Office of Health Disparities Research (OHDR) and by the NIH (R21 CA191028) awarded to Drs. Radecki Breitkopf and Williams (MPIs) (IRB #12-003252).

The research presented in this paper is that of the authors and does not reflect the official policy of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).


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

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


Journal Title:

Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities


Volume 4, Number 1


, Pages 19-24

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


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.

Copyright information:

© 2015, Springer Nature

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