Though there is a great improvement in health status in the US, health disparities are challenges causing a higher rate of mortality among the racial minorities. This article will discuss health disparities in the US and gives suggestions on how the issue can be addressed. Health Disparities in the US: the US has been experiencing health disparities mainly based on race and ethnicity.
In 1980, the US realized this problem and committed itself to provide good healthcare without discrimination. However, research was carried out for 15 years between 1990 and 2005 to determine if there were health disparities between non- Hispanic blacks and non- Hispanic whites.Health Disparities in the United States Essay
They used 15 health indicators based on mortality rates they caused. These are “stroke, cancer, lung cancer, female breast cancer, motor vehicle crash, suicide, homicide, diabetes mellitus, infant mortality rate, percentage low birth weight babies, percentage of women with no prenatal care in first trimester, tuberculosis, primary and secondary syphilis” (Orsi, Anast, & Whitman, 2010, p. 350).
In the US, 7 of these indicators did not vary significantly, but 5 of them had great differences with high mortality rates in non-Hispanic blacks. In Chicago, 11 of these indicators varied significantly with 5 of them having very large disparities. When all the causes of mortality were combined, non-Hispanic blacks had a 36% higher mortality than non-Hispanic whites (Orsi, Anast, & Whitman, 2010).
Causes of Health Disparities: Racism is the main cause of health disparities in the US. Discrimination on racial basis denies the opportunities of the black to get equal opportunities of education resulting in a great difference in economic status between whites and blacks. The social economic status of black people is affected negatively making them live in poverty and unable to afford quality healthcare.Health Disparities in the United States Essay
Poverty makes blacks to live in poorly constructed houses which increase the risk of contracting diseases. However, between blacks and whites with the same level of education, white people are known to have better health than blacks (Orsi, Anast, & Whitman, 2010). Majority of the racial minorities are also known to be uninsured which is a reason why they fail to access healthcare.
In 2006, 20.5% of African Americans were not insured compared to 10.8% of non-Hispanic whites (Disparities, n.d.). How to Reduce Health Disparities: Health disparities can be eliminated by increasing awareness in community-based organizations, learning institutions, and public health departments. The programs should address the issues of poverty and racism.