Health Disparity And Health Disparities

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Introduction Health disparity(ies) are defined as a significant disparity in overall rate of disease incidence, prevalence, morbidity, mortality or survival rates in the population as compared to the health status of the general population (Minority Health & Health Disparities Research and Education Act, 2000). Let’s take the public health and epidemiological terminology into a simplified form. A health disparity or health disparities exist when one group is compared to the general population: gets the disease more often, is diagnosed with a later stage of that disease, there are more severe cases of that disease, receives poorer care for that disease, suffers more because has poorer quality of life due to that disease, is likely to survive that disease and/or dies from that disease in greater numbers. Now let us simplify the phrase “one group is compared to the general population.” The words – “general population” refers to the population of White, while the word “group” refers to the population of Non-White (the population of color, race and ethnicity – Hispanics, African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans / Pacific Islander, etc.). Public health officials known that there have been differences in health profiles of U.S. racial and/or ethnic groups for centuries. U.S. ranks 42nd (out 223 countries) overall in life expectancy – 78.7 years, our nation falls behind Canada, France and Sweden, Japan, United Kingdom (CIA, 2012). U.S. also ranks 7th out of the top

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