Health disparities are gaps or inequities in the quality of health across racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. The National Institutes of Health defines the problem as “the difference in the incidence, prevalence, mortality, and burden of disease and other adverse health conditions that exist among specific population groups in the United States.”
It doesn't have to be this way. We can fight for equal treatment for everyone. We can advocate for universal health care. We can face and manage our individual health risks. We can make healthy decisions to reduce our risk of getting sick. We encourage you to learn more about disparities in health and health care.
A fast look at disparities in access and coverage, outcomes and quality of care, environment and determinants of health.
Disparities in health and health care impact everyone. African Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Asians, Pacific Islanders, and Hispanics are most affected.
27% of adults report having no usual source of care. African-American (28%), Hispanic (51%), and Asian (23%) adults are all more likely to report not having a usual doctor.
Uninsured adults are disproportionately, young, and minorities; 82% are between 19-49 years of age, and 41% identified themselves as black, Hispanic, or other.
American Indian and Alaskan Native death rates from sudden infant death syndrome are the highest of any population groups.
Asian Americans have the highest tuberculosis case rates of any racial and ethnic population.
During 1996-2000, Native Hawaiians were 2.5 times more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than non-Hispanic white residents of Hawaii of similar age.
In 2005, African Americans accounted for 18,121 (49%) of the estimated 37,331 new HIV/AIDS diagnoses in a national poll which encompassed 33 states.
21.9% of U.S. children live in poverty, far and away the worst in the industrialized world. Comparable figures for the Nordic countries are 4.2% and less.
Adults who have not finished high school are almost two times more likely than college graduates to be obese.