Encyclopedia of Gerontology and Population Aging

Living Edition
| Editors: Danan Gu, Matthew E. Dupre

Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health

  • Joseph T. LariscyEmail author
  • Samia Tasmim
  • Sarah Collins
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-69892-2_999-1


Racial and ethnic disparities in health stem from the historical legacy and continued patterns of unequal resources and treatment on the basis of race/ethnicity in society (Hummer and Hamilton 2019; Williams and Sternthal 2010). Health disparities encompass differences in physical health, mental health, all-cause and cause-specific mortality risk, activity limitations, healthcare access and utilization, and other metrics of well-being. The existing literature on racial and ethnic disparities in health in the United States mainly considers health patterns among the five major racial/ethnic groups: Hispanics, non-Hispanic (NH) blacks, NH whites, Asians and Pacific Islanders (hereafter Asians), and Native Americans. These categories may not adequately capture the racial/ethnic identity of all Americans, especially the multiracial population. Further, diversity exists within these groups in terms of socioeconomic attainment, country of birth, and several other social,...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph T. Lariscy
    • 1
    Email author
  • Samia Tasmim
    • 1
  • Sarah Collins
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of MemphisMemphisUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Melanie Sereny Brasher
    • 1
  • Karen Siu Lan Cheung
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Rhode IslandKingstonUSA
  2. 2.Sau Po Centre on AgeingThe University of Hong KongHong Kong SARChina