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Black Men's Group Participates in Groundbreaking Survey on Health
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Mentoring African American Males
Associated Press

A Mississippi organization is urging black men to take part in a nationwide survey to collect data about their health.

"There's not a lot of research on us done, as compared to other groups, said Dr. Thorpe. 

That's Dr. Roland Thorpe, at Johns Hopkins University on Youtube, discussing the need for more research targeting African American men. The video is part of a nationwide campaign launched by Black Men of America. They are promoting a survey to collect health-related data from some 10,000 men for use in research. Harvey Johnson is President of 100 Black Men Jackson.

"The more we can call attention to issues that are fairly unique to African American males in terms of their health, the better. This project aims to do that," said Johnson.

Dr. William Truly, an emergency room physician in Mississippi, says the health of black men is sobering.

"Every major disease that you can think of we're probably number one or least not far from number two and I mean that across the spectrum, including diabetes, hypertension, prostate cancer, cigarette smoking, lung disease, such as sarcoidosis," said Truly.

Truly thinks some disparities have to do with genetics, environment, racial discrimination and lack of access to healthcare. But more research is needed. He adds often African American men won't go to the doctor and when they do it's too late. He says on average, black men die seven years earlier than white men. Dr. Richard Summers is with the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He hopes the survey will help with the growing focus on personalized healthcare.

"Being able to gather information that pinpoints how our uniqueness impacts our health is a very important issue," said Summers.

The survey is expected to be available this week at blackmenshealthproject.org.