Racial, Ethnic Health Disparities Remain in Calif., Report Finds
While the quality of health care in California has improved in recent years, "significant racial and ethnic disparities persist," according to a California HealthCare Foundation report, Payers & Providers reports.
CHCF publishes California Healthline.
Outcomes Improve in Calif.
The study found that rates of low birth weight were lower in California than in other states, at 6.8% compared with the national rate of 8.1% in 2011. Rates of pre-term births also were lower in California that year, at 9.8% compared with 11.7% nationally.
Meanwhile, 77.4% of California children were vaccinated in 2011, compared with 73.3% nationwide.
However, the maternal mortality rate among African-Americans in the state increased from 27.7 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1999 to 33.8 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2010.
The state's infant mortality rate for African-Americans was 9.5 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2010, compared with 4.7 deaths per 1,000 live births overall. For mixed-race infants, the mortality rate was 10.3 per 1,000 live births in 2010.
The study also found that in 2011:
- 19.8% of African-Americans in California had asthma before or during pregnancy, compared with 11.8% of whites and 6% of Latinos and Asian-Americans;
- 28.8% of African-Americans in the state were obese before or during pregnancy, compared with 26.5% of Latinos, 16.8% of whites and 6.8% of Asian-Americans; and
- 14.5% of African-Americans in California had hypertension before or during pregnancy, compared with a statewide average of 9.2%.
In 2010, African-American children in the state were more likely to visit an emergency department for asthma treatment than any other racial or ethnic group (Shinkman, Payers & Providers, 10/10).
In addition, the report found that nursing homes in the state performed well on a series of measures compared to such facilities across the U.S., including:
- Preventing falls;
- Weight loss; and
However, California nursing home patients were more likely to be physically restrained than other facilities in the U.S.
Compared to the nation as a whole, California Medicare beneficiaries at the end of life were more likely to:
- Die in a hospital; and
- Have an ICU admission in the days preceding death (CHCF report, October 2013).