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Health Disparities Roundup – Friday, March 2, 2012

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

Huffington Post: Women Of Color Benefit From Contraceptive Coverage In Employer Plans – “Studies show that planned pregnancies and the spacing of children improve the health of women and families, including fewer pregnancy complications such as premature birth, low birth weight, and infant and maternal mortality. Yet women of color experience much higher unintended pregnancy rates than their white counterparts: Black women are three times as likely as white women to experience an unintended pregnancy; Latinas are twice as likely. This new regulation guaranteeing access to no-cost contraception will give women of color a much-needed chance to close these gaps.” >> Read More

Washington Post: Md. Lt. Gov. to testify on bill to eliminate racial, ethic, geographic health disparities – “According to a release from Brown’s office, the zones will address racial, ethnic and geographic disparities in health care. The program is also supposed to improve access to care in underserved communities and reduce health care costs.” >> Read More

Marketwire (Press Release): Study: Over 100,000 Californians Likely to Miss Out on Health Care Due to Language Barriers – “Language barriers could deter more than 100,000 Californians from enrolling in the Health Benefit Exchange (Exchange), according to a study released today by the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN), the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, and the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education.” >> Read More

Orlando Sentinel: Home: Black Americans die up to 8 years sooner in some states, life-expectancy study shows – “In every state across the country, white men and women are outliving blacks, in some cases by a margin as wide as eight years, says a new life-expectancy study from the University of California, Los Angeles. In America, a white male born today has a life expectancy of 74.8 years, while black males are expected to live to 67.7, creating a seven-year disparity. Meanwhile, white women can expect to live to 79.8, while their black counterparts have a life expectancy five years shorter, at 74.6 years, said the UCLA report. >> Read More

Futurity: Fitness programs for minorities lack input – “Researchers found that minority adults who received exercise interventions increased their physical activity levels. However, these interventions are not culturally tailored to best assist minority populations in improving overall health.” >> Read More Two neighborhoods, years apart – “ZIP codes with the lowest life expectancy tend to have a higher percentage of low-income, Latino and multiethnic urban residents, while those with the highest life expectancy tend to have a white majority, high levels of education and annual average household incomes above the state average.” >> Read More

iVillage: Poor Patients Less Likely to Sue Doctors, Analysis Shows – The study authors pointed out that some doctors may not treat low-income patients because they are concerned about getting paid for their services. These doctors — either consciously or unconsciously — might justify their decision to avoid seeing patients who are potentially hard to collect payment from by accepting the assumption that poor patients are more likely to sue. By making an effort to be more culturally sensitive, doctors can overcome any bias they have, even unconscious bias, the researchers suggested. >> Read More

Black Women’s Health Imperative: Heart Disease and Black Women: The Silent Killer that Speaks Volumes – “One woman dies every minute from heart disease, a little know fact that is overshadowed by other high profile diseases for women. Heart disease, once considered a “man’s disease”, is a cause of great concern for women.  It is called a “silent killer” because it often has no symptoms or presents pain that is barely noticeable. The most commonly recognized symptom is persistent chest pain, pressure or other discomfort, called angina. This pain results when the heart is getting too little blood or oxygen. It can be felt under the breastbone and tends to accompany exercise or extreme emotional stress. Women, however, are more likely than men to experience a different type of chest pain which is sharp and temporary. “ >> Read More

CT Mirror: Two years after passage, Courtney still selling health reform – “Enfield — Joe Courtney held up the poster-sized chart and pointed to the numbers printed in purple: 7,700 seniors in his Eastern Connecticut district got a discount on their prescription drug payments last year, thanks to federal health reform. That included 530 seniors from Enfield, where he had come to chat at the senior center, 143 in neighboring Suffield and hundreds more in several other towns listed on the chart.” >> Read More

Medline Plus: Kids From Poorer Families Drink Too Much Juice: Poll – “Many young children from low-income families drink too much juice, new research shows.  To fight childhood obesity and tooth decay, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children aged 6 and under consume only one serving of juice — even 100 percent fruit juice — each day. In the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health, however, it was found that about 50 percent of kids in low-income families drink twice that amount.” >> Read More

PR Newswire (Press Release): Permanente Study Finds Obesity-Asthma Link in Children Varies by Race/Ethnicity – “Children and adolescents who are overweight or obese are more likely to have asthma than their healthy weight counterparts, according to a new Kaiser Permanente Southern California study published in the online edition of Obesity. The study, which included more than 681,000 children between ages 6 and 19, found that the association between asthma and body mass index varied by race and ethnicity.” >> Read More Health Disparities Cause Financial Burdens For Families, Communities and Health Care System – “The study found that between 2003 and 2006, 30.6 percent of direct medical care expenditures for African-Americans, Asians and Hispanics were excess costs due to health inequalities. The study estimated that eliminating health disparities for minorities would have reduced direct medical expenditures by $229.4 billion and slashed indirect costs associated with illness and premature death by more than $1 trillion for those years.” >> 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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