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Health Disparities Roundup – Friday, April 27, 2012

Here’s some of the latest health disparities news, posts and reports from this past week.

The Root DC: National Minority Health month emphasizes preventative measures – “U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin spoke largely on preventive health, which she described as more relevant than ever in light of the nation’s increasingly diverse demographics and, subsequently, a increasing population with chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease. While she stressed the importance of personal choices, she also discussed how the federal government is prioritizing preventive health in new ways.” >> Read More

New Haven Register: Life expectancy in New Haven County growing but lags behind Connecticut average – “In New Haven County, people are expected to live longer than the national average but lag behind the state average. Males born in New Haven County in 2009 were expected to live to be 77, compared to 72.2 twenty years ago. Females will live longer but the increase over two decades was smaller. In New Haven County, females born in 2009 were projected to live to 81.8 years old, compared to 79.2 two decades years ago.” >> Read More

Huffington Post: Making the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice: Eliminating Health Disparities – “In fact, black children are four times as likely to die from asthma as non-Hispanic white children, and Hispanics are 1.6 times more likely than non-Hispanic whites to die of diabetes. Health disparities are intricately linked with social inequalities based on a variety of factors, including race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation and gender identity, gender, age, disability, geography, and religion. In order to improve the health of vulnerable communities, we must create and leverage opportunities to address the social determinants of health and promote health equity.” >> Read More

ThinkProgress: Health Disparities Report Highlights Transgender Concerns – “In its 2011 National Healthcare Disparities Report, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) at the Department of Health and Human Services has finally called out these disparities. AHRQ publishes this report every year to help policymakers understand and address the impact of racial, socioeconomic, and other differences on various populations. The report focuses on priority populations such as racial and ethnic minorities, lower-income people, and people with disabilities—and, for the first time, it also includes the LGBT population as a priority population.” >> Read More

The Hour: School-Based Mental Health and the Achievement Gap – “The Feb. 22 report is titled “Adolescent Health in Connecticut: RBA Project 2011.” About half of this very thorough and timely study focused on the impact of school-based health centers in Connecticut. According to the report, there are currently 71 state-funded school-based centers in our state, most of which serve as natural medical homes for students of all ages, providing free primary care and mental health services.” >> Read More

Huffington Post: No Simple Answers for a Complex Problem – “Perhaps it should come as no surprise that Washington, D.C., a city with a reputation for ‘pork,’ struggles with serious problems of healthy food access. D.C. Central Kitchen, a nonprofit that has spent two decades fighting hunger and poverty in our nation’s capital, knows the scale of these challenges all too well. But by working with local farmers, we’ve developed landmark programs that serve healthy school meals to thousands of D.C. children every day and distribute fresh fruits and vegetables to corner stores that would not otherwise sell them for reasons of cost and capacity.” >> Read More

Huffington Post: The Democratization of Health Care: Empowering the Consumer – “Minorities constitute an emerging majority: 40 percent of the U.S. population by 2020, 50 percent by 2050. White, non-Hispanics are currently 66 percent of the population, yet their care absorbs 80 percent of health care spending, according to data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Our health care system is not built to provide optimal care to a diverse population.” >> Read More

Scope: Report shows continuing health disparities for racial and ethnic minorities – “Specifically, for 2002 through 2008, Latinos, American Indians and Alaska Natives experienced worse access to care than Whites on more than 60 percent of the access measures, while African Americans experienced worse access on slightly more than 30 percent of the access measures. Asian Americans experienced worse access to care than non-Latino Whites on only 17 percent of the access measures.” >> Read More

The Root DC: National Minority Health Month prompts communities to take action – “Although there are many factors contributing to poor health, including a history of injustices and legacies of ongoing discrimination, taking a first step toward a healthier life is better than settling into lifelong categories of sickness and disease. That one step can serve as a launching pad to a life of better health. Like most things of value, closing the health disparities gap to create equity will probably take a lot of work every single day, from everyone involved.” >> Read More

American Progress: New EPA Rules Help Communities of Color Breathe Easier – “For many people of color, this air pollution is an unavoidable feature of daily life because they are more likely to live and work in the nation’s most polluted cities. According to a recent nationwide study, non-Hispanic blacks are “consistently overrepresented” in the counties with the worst air quality in the nation. In 2006 Hispanics were 165 percent and Asian Americans 169 percent more likely to live in counties with unhealthy levels of particulate matter than were whites and were also more likely to live in areas with unhealthy ozone levels. An analysis of polluting facilities in California found that 62 percent of residents living within six miles of a petroleum refinery, cement plant, or power plant were people of color. And a startling 68 percent of African Americans live within 30 miles of a coal-fired power plant, compared to only 56 percent of the white population.” >> Read More

Huffington Post: Urban Air Pollutant Linked to Obesity – “It’s well known that poor diet and physical inactivity are the main contributors to obesity — an epidemic which afflicts 17 percent of America’s children. But why would the rate be higher — closer to 25 percent according to a new study conducted by the Columbia University Center for Children’s Environmental Health — among children living in inner-city neighborhoods? It seems particularly strange for a city like New York where most of us walk or take public transportation to get about. Could there be other factors to consider?” >> Read More

Image credit by iStock Photos

About Gina Hernandez

Gina Hernandez is a Program Director at the Society for New Communications Research and has worked 7+ years in the digital communications field. Prior to joining the Society for New Communications Research, Gina worked at re: Imagine group, where she where she led media and blogger outreach and agency research.

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