Heath disparities are particular health differences that are closely linked with social or economic disadvantage.
During yesterday's live session I talked about the National Minority Health and why it was so important to understand how much of an impact it has on the entire community so I decided to compile a “short” list of all of the disparities that we face today just to give you all an idea of the hill we have to climb to become healthier all across the board. I can assure you that I probably could have went up to 100 and more but you get the gist.
- For most cancers, African Americans have the highest death rate and shortest survival of any group in the United States.
- Hispanic and African-American women who get breast cancer are more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage than white women are.
- Hispanic women are twice as likely as white women to have cervical cancer.
- Asians and Pacific Islanders are the only groups for whom cancer is the leading cause of death; heart disease is the leading cause of death among all other groups.
- Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have the highest incidence rates for both liver and stomach cancers and are twice as likely to die from these cancers as whites are.
- African Americans are 1.4 times as likely as whites to have high blood pressure.
- African Americans are much more likely than people in other racial/ethnic groups to die from heart disease and stroke. Heart disease and stroke are the biggest reasons for inequality in life expectancy between whites and African Americans.
- African-American adults are 60 percent more likely to have a stroke than white adults are. African-American stroke survivors are more likely to become disabled and have difficulty with activities of daily living than their non-Hispanic white counterparts.
- African Americans are twice as likely as whites to have diabetes. Hispanics are 1.7 times as likely as whites to have diabetes. Hispanics are also 1.5 times as likely as whites to die from diabetes. American Indians and Alaska Natives are twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites of similar age to have diabetes.
- African Americans are 20 percent more likely to report having serious psychological distress than non-Hispanic whites are.
- In general, minorities have less access to, and less availability of, mental health services.
- African Americans have 2.4 times the infant mortality rate than non-Hispanic whites do.
- Infant mortality rates are higher among African Americans and American Indians/Alaska Natives than among other racial/ethnic groups
- Cirrhosis death rates are very high among white Americans of Hispanic origin, lower among non-Hispanic Blacks, and lower still among non-Hispanic whites.
- Hispanics and Blacks have a higher risk for developing alcohol-related liver disease than whites.2
- Alcohol-related traffic deaths are many times more frequent among Native Americans or Alaska natives than among other minorities.
- Self-reported rates of DUI are highest among mixed race and Native Americans and Alaska Natives.
- Hispanics are overrepresented among drunk drivers and DUI-related fatalities.
- Between 2001 and 2005, alcohol played a role in 11.7 percent of all Native American deaths, which is more than twice the rates of the general American public.
- Among nonelderly adults, Hispanics, Blacks, and American Indians and Alaska Natives are more likely than Whites to delay or go without needed care
- Nonelderly Black and Hispanic adults are less likely than their White counterparts to have a usual source of care or to have had a health or dental visit in the previous year
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) individuals are more likely to experience challenges obtaining care than heterosexuals.
- Individuals with limited English proficiency are less likely than those who are English proficient to seek care even when insured.
- Blacks experiencing over eight and ten times higher rates of HIV and AIDS diagnoses than Whites
- Infant mortality rates are significantly higher for Blacks and American Indians and Alaska Natives compared to Whites and Black males have the shortest life expectancy compared to other groups
- the economy loses an estimated $309 billion per year due to the direct and indirect costs of disparities
- People of color projected to account for over half of the population by 2050
- Lead exposure in children ages 1-5 is more prevalent among African Americans, who tend to reside in urban areas with older homes adorned with lead-based pain
- Blood lead levels are also high for poor children of all races and ethnicities, compared to others.
- Four million emergency department visits and 70,000 hospitalizations every year can be explained by accidents occurring in the home, often because of defective structural features and systems, like faulty heating or re detection systems and steep staircases
- Low-income populations are less likely to have employment-based benefit that support good health.
- Only 33 percent of low-wage jobs provide paid sick leave compared to 81 percent of high-wage jobs, discouraging low-income populations from seeking health care.
- Lower-income workers are more likely to be exposed to noxious chemicals and physical hazards such as noise, heat, heavy lifting, long work hours and unstable shift assignments, putting them at greater risk of injury.
- Fatal work injuries are higher for Hispanic workers than all other races – a rate of 3.7 per 100,000 full-time employees compared to 3.4 for Whites and 3.0 for African Americans.
- People living in rural areas are more likely to do agricultural work and as a result are at higher risk of illness and death from pesticide poisoning and may expose their children by unknowingly bringing pesticides home on their clothing.
- Lack of affordable, reliable transportation in both urban and rural areas affects access to healthy foods, health care services, educational opportunities, physical activity levels and employment
- Kids who attend public schools in low-income neighborhoods get two-thirds less time on the playground as kids attending public schools in wealthier areas
- A 2007 survey by the National Center for Education Statistics found that 5.5 percent of children and adolescents did not go to school on one or more of the 30 days preceding the survey because they felt unsafe at school or on their way to or from school.
- More than 23.5 million people in the United States live more than a mile from the nearest supermarket. Wealthy areas have twice the number of supermarkets as poor ones.
- African American children die from drowning at 3.1 times the rate of White children in the same age range.
- Hispanic boys have higher rates of pool drowning than White non-Hispanic boys.
- The fatal drowning rate among American Indian and Alaska Native children is 2.2 times higher than for White children
- Poor health has been shown to impacts a workers ability to perform well at his/her job, increase sick leave, turnover, absenteeism, short- and long-term disability and affects a company’s ability to compete in the global market.
- Indirect costs associated with unscheduled absences and productivity losses associated with family and personal health problems, cost U.S. employers $225.8 billion annually
- Over the next decade, the total cost of these disparities for private insurers is estimated to reach more than $65 billion as the number of Latinos and African Americans in the United States increases.
Again this list isn't even everything but it should hammer home the idea that being a minority in this country and suffering from health disparities go hand and hand. As a community we must be ready and willing to take care of this crisis because no one will be left unaffected.
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