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Health Disparities: Health Disparities

This Libguide will help understand the problem of health disparities

Health Disparities

  • According the U.S. government document Healthy People 2010, health disparites are "gaps in quality of health and health care across racial and ethnic groups.



  • Health Resources and Services Administration definition "population specific differences in the presence of disease, health outcomes, or access to health care."

Recent studies have shown that despite the steady improvements in the overall health of the United States, racial and ethnic minorities experience a lower quality of health services and are less likely to receive routine medical procedures and have higher rates of morbidity and mortality than non-minorities. Disparities in health care exist even when controlling for gender, condition, age and socio-economic status.

  • AMA activities to eliminate health disparities
    • The AMA has encouraged physicians to examine their own practices to ensure equality in medical care.
    • Learn about AMA programs and activities committed to the elimination of racial and ethnic health care disparities.
  • Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities
    • Poor people are at greater risk of being diagnosed and treated for cancer at late stages of disease.
    • Death rates from lung cancer are four to five times higher in the least educated than in the most educated individuals.
    • African American males have the highest incidence and mortality rates for colon, prostate, and lung cancers.

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