Health Disparities

Health disparities are differences in the incidence, prevalence, mortality, burden of diseases, and other adverse health conditions or outcomes that exist among specific population groups in the United States. Health disparities can affect population groups based on race/ethnicity, gender, age, socioeconomic status, geography, sexual orientation, disability, or special health care needs. Health gaps occur among groups who have persistently experienced historical trauma, social disadvantage, or discrimination and who systematically experience worse health or greater health risks than more advantaged social groups.

  • Disparities in health: Disparities in health refers to differences between two or more population groups in health status and outcomes and in the prevalence, incidence, or burden of disease, disability, injury, or death.
  • Disparities in health care: Disparities in health care refers to the differences between two or more population groups in health care access, coverage, and quality of care, including differences in preventive, diagnostic, and treatment services.
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