Minority Health Disparities in the United States

25 03 2010

In the United States racial and ethnic minorities suffer from worse health compared to their white counterparts. The CDC and FamiliesUSA state that the statistics as of 2008 for minority health disparities are:

  • American Indians are 638 percent more likely to suffer from alcoholism, 400 percent more likely to contract tuberculosis, 67 percent more likely to have pneumonia or influenza, and 20 percent more likely to suffer from heart disease then whites.
  • African-American men are 50 percent more likely to suffer from prostate cancer than white men, and they are more than twice as likely as white men to die as a result of the cancer.
  • American Indians are more than twice as likely to suffer from diabetes as whites.
  • Although they made up only 26 percent of the U.S. population, African Americans and Latinos accounted for 67 percent of newly reported AIDS cases.
  • The maternal mortality rate for African-American women is nearly five times the maternal mortality rate for white women
  • Private health insurance coverage among persons under age 65 was only 40% for Hispanics/Latinos, compared to 75.6% for non-Hispanic whites

Franklin Delano Roosevelt stated, “the success or failure of any government in the final analysis must be measured by the well-being of its citizens. Nothing can be more important to a state than its public health; the state’s paramount concern should be the health of its people.” Now my question is, are we succeeding or failing?




4 responses

30 03 2010
Daniel Gonzalez

It’s important that we are one day able to separate the genetic determinants from the social determinants of disease, if there are any at all.

3 04 2010

Totally agree with the comment above. Someday, I hope we won’t see these minorities and these disparities associated.

4 04 2010

I had no idea that American Indians were so affected by health issues until I went into the Public Health field.

12 04 2010

It is sometimes hard for us to remember that even though we are in an industrialized country that we still have a lot of disparities right in our own back yard.

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