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Frequently Asked Questions about Racial Disparities in Health

How do I find statistics on health related data based on race, ethnicity, and gender?

The National Center for Health Statistics is a great resource to look up statistical demographic data on a whole range of health issues. The Office of Minority Health's website has statistics and data, particularly ones used by the Health and Human Services.

Where can I look to find information on the factors accounting for the racial disparities in health?

The Institute of Medicine published a study Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial & Ethnic Disparities in Healthcare that detailed the consistent research data on the significant variation in the rates of medical procedures by race, regardless of education, income, insurance status, age, and severity of condition, and can be accessed here.

The National Health Law Program is a highly recommended website to find articles and links to other organizations working to eliminate racial disparities. In addition, at a recent conference, "Racial, Ethnic, and Socioeconomic Disparities in Health: Implications for Action," Professor Acevedo-Garcia, Harvard University, gave a presentation on her recent research on the effects of residential segregation by race/ethnicity and by class on the large disparities in health outcomes that exist along racial/ethnic and class lines in the U.S., the role of assimilation and acculturation in shaping health outcomes among immigrants and the effects of immigrant policies on health outcomes among immigrants. To access a pdf of the presentation, click here.

How do I find information on legislation affecting public health for people of color or those living in poverty?

The American Public Health Association has extensive publications and information on current legislation. To find fact sheets, Congressional testimony, and policy statements, click on their "Legislation, Advocacy, and Policy" link. The George Washington University Center for Health Services Research and Policy has information related to current health policies, such as Medicaid, SCHIP and Medicare, and poverty. Families USA, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization that advocates for affordable and quality healthcare, also has numerous publications on current health policies and minorities.

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