HEALTH AND RACE: Report Underscores Boston’s Disparities
Black men in Boston are dying of AIDS and Hispanic men from substance abuse at rates much higher than their white counterparts, according to a first-of-its-kind report released today by the Boston Public Health Commission. "I think we're seeing both the effects of poverty and lack of access to health care," said Dr. John Rich, the city's chief medical officer. The report uncovered disparities across numerous health indicators, the Boston Globe reports, from "leading causes of hospitalization and death to neighborhood breakdowns of homicide rates and deaths from injury and substance abuse." According to the report, black men in Boston faced the widest gap, with a murder rate 10 times that of white men between 1990 and 1996 and an AIDS mortality rate 48% higher than white men during the same period. The substance abuse mortality rate for Hispanic men aged 25 to 34 was 70% higher than that of white men of the same age, and the hepatitis B rate for young men of Asian or Pacific Island descent was nearly 21 times higher than for white men. A commission advisory committee vowed to zero in on young men's health and develop recommendations on the public health problems specific to that group, Rich said (Kong, Boston Globe, 5/4).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.