CDC Report Finds More Work Needed To Fight U.S. Health Disparities
The report found:
- More white U.S. residents die from prescription drug overdoses than any other ethnic group;
- Blacks have higher rates of HIV infection, stroke and heart disease;
- Asians have the lowest rate of HIV infection, though the rate is worsening for blacks and American Indians;
- Black infants are three times as likely as other infants to die;
- Whites commit more than 80% of all suicides;
- Young American Indian adults have the highest suicide rate of all groups at 25 per 100,000;
- Blacks die of heart disease more often than whites, and die younger;
- Blacks are twice as likely as whites to have high blood pressure, while Mexican-Americans have had the least success in controlling it;
- Blacks have twice the rate of "preventable hospitalizations" as whites;
- Binge drinking is increasing among all groups, but low-income residents and American Indians drink more heavily when on binges; and
- The teenage pregnancy rate has remained the same or fallen for all ethnic groups. The Hispanic teen pregnancy rate is three times as high as that of whites, while the rate for blacks is twice as high as that of whites (McNeil, New York Times, 1/13).
More Work Needed
The agency noted that researchers have not collected enough evidence on the effectiveness of possible solutions for reducing the disparities.
In addition, there are significant gaps in national data on disparities by disability and sexual orientation. The report said, "Standard reporting of sexual identity/orientation or sexual behavior on national health surveys is necessary if these health inequities are to be observed and attenuated among population groups."
The report recommended that future national and state surveys consistently study sexual identity, orientation and behavior, in an attempt to address the gaps in care ("Healthwatch," The Hill, 1/13).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.