Epidemiology of Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health and Healthcare
Disparities in health status and healthcare delivery have been documented in the United States throughout most of the past two centuries (1, 2, 3). More recently, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) (4) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (5) have confirmed that such disparities are pervasive but improvements are possible. Eliminating these disparities is one of the two over-arching goals of the Healthy People 2010 national public health agenda (6). In this endeavor, the availability of reliable, population-based indicators of disparities can be crucial for assessing the magnitude, trends, and impact of interventions designed to reduce and eventually eliminate disparities. These indicators can also serve to inform policy and program development, help set priorities, and assist in identifying areas in which additional research is needed.
KeywordsHealth Disparity Healthy People Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Healthcare Delivery Health Equity
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