Thursday, January 13, 2011

U.S. Racial Disparities in Health

File this under unsurprising, but nonetheless upsetting, news: a recent federal report found that the poor and racial and ethnic minorities are less healthy than their more affluent, white counterparts.

The agency did not delve into why suffering is so disproportionate, other than to note the obvious: that the poor, the uninsured and the less educated tend to live shorter, sicker lives...

“Some of the figures, like the suicide rate for young American Indians, are just heartbreaking,” said Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the C.D.C. director, who ordered the report compiled.

He ordered it, he said, after promising at his agency’s African American History Month celebration last February that he would do so.

“We wanted to shine a spotlight on the problem and some potential solutions,” he said.

Many of the differences are large and striking

To find out more detailed information on the report's findings, click here.


Horus said...

One of the big reasons for this is that hospitals are generally built in districts where people can afford them. In some poor places in this country people don't even have an ER to walk into, and at any rate that would only cover certain conditions. So in Chicago, for example, you have several poor, predominantly black neighborhoods with such a need for healthcare availability that some doctors take their own supplies and just set up a free clinic in a community center or something just so that some of those people can get some sort of care at least once in a while. I saw a presentation on this a few years ago at an American Medical Students Association and it really was eye-opening.

Horus said...

...that was supposed to say an "American Medical Students Association CONFERENCE." Must have forgotten that last word