Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health

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Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Large disparities exist between minorities and the rest of Americans in major areas of health. Even though the overall health of the nation is improving, minorities suffer from certain diseases up to five times more than the rest of the nation. President Clinton has committed the nation to eliminating the disparities in six areas of health by the Year 2010, and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will be jumping in on this huge battle. The six areas are: Infant Mortality, Cancer Screening and Management, Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, HIV Infection and AIDS, and Child and Adult Immunizations. Infant mortality is considered a worldwide indicator of a nation’s health status. The United States still ranks 24th in infant mortality compared with other industrialized nations, even though infant mortality has declined steadily over the past several decades. Compared with the national average in 1996 of 7.2 deaths per 1,000 live births, the largest disparity is among blacks with a death rate of 14.2 per 1,000 in 1996 which is almost 2½ times that of white infants (6 deaths per 1,000 in 1996). American Indians as a whole have an infant death rate of 9 deaths per 1,000 in 1995, but some Indian communities have an infant mortality rate almost twice that of the national rate. The same applies to the Hispanic community, whose rate of 7.6 deaths per 1,000 births in 1995 doesn’t reflect the Puerto Rican community, whose rate was 8.9 deaths per 1,000 births in 1995. The disparities may be attributed to the amount of prenatal care that pregnant women of different ethnicities receive. In 1996, 81.8% of all women in the nation received prenatal care in the first trimester--the m... ... middle of paper ... ...east 90% coverage for all childhood vaccines in all populations. Increase pneumococcal and flu immunizations among adults 65 and older by 60%. Let’s all hope it can be done because in order for our nation to thrive, our nation needs to be healthy and there is no excuse for the disparities minorities face when it comes to their health. Works Cited United States. US Department of Health and Human Services. The Initiative to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Disparitites in Health. 26 May 1998. Online. Internet. 21 February 1999. Available . "Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health." Public Health Reports. July/August 1998: 372 EBSCOhost. Available . (11 February 1999) Unknown Authors. "Health and Medicine." Encyclopedia of Multiculturalism. Volume 3. p 821

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