A health disparity is defined as a higher burden of illness, injury, disability, or mortality experienced by one population group in relation to another. Racial differences in socioeconomic status, residential conditions and medical care are some examples of important contributors to racial differences in disease.
How do health disparities differ from health care disparities?
A health care disparity refers to differences in health coverage, access, or quality of care that is not due to health needs.
Why do racial/ethnic disparities exist in the health care system?
There is no single, simple answer. Racial and ethnic minorities tend to receive lower-quality health care than Whites do, even when insurance status, income, age, and severity of conditions are comparable, says a 2002 report of the Institute of Medicine. Among the better-controlled studies performed to assess the reasons why – some reasons have been found to be: healthcare delivery systems and access to health care (cultural/linguistic barriers, system fragmentation and incentives to physicians to limit services), physician biases, patient perceptions and clinical uncertainty when interacting with patients of color.
Why do health disparities exist among African Americans?
Although we do know health disparities exist, we cannot precisely say why they exist. GRAAHI was established to explore the causes of these disparities and will work to provide strategies to eliminate them by advancing in understanding of the development and progression of diseases that contribute to them. Cited causes of health disparities are numerous and include: