Can Black Americans Reduce or Eliminate Racial Health Disparities by Getting More Sun Exposure?

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David G. Hoel


It is becoming well understood that insufficient sun exposure is a risk factor for many adverse health effects. Increased adverse health effects such as cancers and cardiovascular disease have been quantified with respect to measured levels of vitamin D, a marker for sun exposure. Most acquired vitamin D [measured as 25(OH)D level] is a result of ultraviolet radiation from sun exposure. Because of higher levels of melanin in the skin, individuals with darker skin obtain less vitamin D and other beneficial sun-produced biomolecules such as nitric oxide from a given amount of sun exposure. It is the purpose of this paper to report the published observed 25(OH)D levels in Black Americans and the correlated levels of adverse health effects. Our conclusion is that insufficient sun exposure is a major component of the observed health disparities between Black and White Americans, and that Black Americans can significantly attenuate these disparities by having enough additional sun exposure to raise their 25(OH)D levels to 30 ng/mL.

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HOEL, David G.. Can Black Americans Reduce or Eliminate Racial Health Disparities by Getting More Sun Exposure?. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 10, n. 7, july 2022. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 30 may 2023. doi:
Research Articles


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