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The racial health gap in the United States is well-documented. The gap starts with the infant mortality rate (11.1 blacks vs. 5.1 whites per 1,000) and extends to almost any health domain. Compared to whites, blacks live shorter and live fewer years free of illness. Blacks develop chronic disease on average one decade earlier than whites. Although the life expectancy gap between black and white Americans has narrowed, disparities are still persistent.

Improvements in the health care system have increased life expectancy for most Americans, but the group that has gained more is white Americans. The larger health gain of whites than blacks results in widening of racial gap in health.

As a researcher, I’ve looked into black-white differences in determinants of health. What I’ve found is that some interventions may even widen the gap.

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Image: By National Cancer Institute – This image was released by the National Cancer Institute, an agency part of the National Institutes of Health, with the ID 4544 (image) (next).This tag does not indicate the copyright status of the attached work. A normal copyright tag is still required. See Commons:Licensing for more information.English | Français | +/−, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24034615

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