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Examples of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities

  • Members of racial/ethnic minorities, even among insured populations, are less likely to receive preventive health services than are members of the majority population.
  • Low-income individuals have higher mortality rates than high-income individuals, even when health insurance is universally available.
  • Pain of all types, and in all settings, is generally mismanaged among racial and ethnic minorities
  • African-American women are more likely to die from breast cancer than white women, in part because the former have lower screening rates and are diagnosed at later stages of the disease.
  • American Indians and Alaska Natives die at higher rates than other Americans from tuberculosis(750% higher), alcoholism (550% higher), diabetes (190% higher), unintentional injuries (150% higher), homicide (100% higher) and suicide (70% higher).
  • Infant mortality rates among African Americans are twice as high as those among whites. African-American infants are almost four times as likely to die from complications related to low birth weight as white infants.
  • The rate of treatment for depression is significantly lower for blacks and Hispanics than for whites.
  • Hispanics are less likely to receive or use medications for asthma, cardiovascular disease, HIV/AIDS, mental illness or pain, as well as prescription medications in general.

Examples from the Center for Prevention and Health Services Issue Brief

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