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The United States healthcare system is plagued with disparities that affect patient engagement based on race and ethnicity. African Americans and Latinos are less likely to have access to treatment, seek treatment, and continue their treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Initial diagnosis and treatment rates data reveal increased risk of and progression of benign prostatic hyperplasia in these minority groups. Data have shown that minorities in the United States, including Latinos and African Americans, also possess higher rates of comorbidities. Many of these disparities could be narrowed or eliminated if healthcare professionals were to better engage and understand minority patients.

Comorbidities, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome, are common in racial/ethnic minority groups. These conditions are exacerbated by other factors, including access to treatment, cultural beliefs and practices, health insurance constraints, language barriers, and socioeconomic issues.

For medical professionals in the United States to provide patients with an early benign prostatic hyperplasia diagnosis and quality treatment, much work is needed. Healthcare professions must learn and demonstrate practices of cultural awareness. Considerations must be made regarding traditions that may exist in minority populations. Facilities must implement and require training programs that educate clinicians in minority cultures and health belief systems.

Cultural and ethnic considerations must be implemented in the United States healthcare training requirements. These educational programs would aid medical professionals in engaging their minority patients who are afflicted with benign prostatic hyperplasia. These programs would help healthcare professionals to better understand patient health beliefs, better educate patients, and ensure appropriate treatment is received [1].

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[1] Martinez, M., Maislos, S., & Rayford, W. (2008). How to Engage the Latino or African American Patient with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia: Crossing Socioeconomic and Cultural Barriers. The American Journal of Medicine, 121(8), S11–S17. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjmed.2008.05.022