10 Factors Contributing to Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities

 By Norma J. Goodwin, MD, Founder and President, Health Power

 

Multiple Factors contribute to the well documented racial and ethnic healthSchematic_with_title_1 disparities experienced by minority/multicultural U.S. Populations, 16 of which are described by Health Power in its website section entitled “Major Killers and Disablers of Minorities“.  Key to reversing these unacceptable health disparities is a broader understanding of contributing factors, which include:

1. decreased awareness of lifestyles and health practices which increase the risk of developing key health disparities; the affected disorders;

2.  denial of early warning signals;

3. delays in seeking care, thus delayed diagnosis and treatment;

4. decreased access to high quality care regarding health insurance coverage, especially in states withholding expanded Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare;

5. greater distrust of the medical establishment (The negative impact of the Tuskegee Study as well as other exploitative studies with multicultural populations has had a long-lasting effect);

6. decreased focus on preventive health care by many because of competing priorities for many, such as employment, food, shelter, and feeling (or preferably being) loved;

7. scarcity of culturally relevant health information;

8. poverty, given the close correlation between socioeconomic status and health status;

9. denial of vulnerability;

10. Inadequate number of culturally competent multicultural health professionals, who are more likely to  practice in their communities than other health professionals;

Health Power also calls racial and ethnic health disparities “ Major Killers and Disablers”  because they cause much more illness, disability and early (or premature) death in multicultural populations than in the nation’s white populations.They also result, in part, from both conscious and unconscious negative attitudes and assumptions about multicultural populations of some health providers.  Consumer adoption of appropriate lifestyles and health practices can play a significant role in decreasing health disparities.:

The Health Power website provides information on key risk factors and warning signals for health disparties to assist in informing users, and providing them with motivation and tools to assist them in adopting desirable lifestyles and health practices.  

Remember: Knowledge + Action = Power! ®

Wishing you Physical, Mental and Spiritual Health

Norma J. Goodwin, M.D., Founder and President, Health Power, njgoodwin@healthpowerforminorities.com

 
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