AHA News: Why Everyone Should Care About Health Disparities – And What to Do About Them


Sumary of AHA News: Why Everyone Should Care About Health Disparities – And What to Do About Them:

  • Racial health disparities result in about $93 billion in excess medical care costs and $42 billion in lost productivity each year, according to a 2018 analysis from the W.K..
  • On top of being costly, disparities hinder the nation’s overall health, as groups who historically have had access to fewer resources have higher rates of illness and death from a variety of preventable conditions..
  • A 2020 advisory from the American Heart Association defined health disparities as “a particular type of health difference that is closely linked with social, economic, and environmental disadvantage..
  • Health disparities adversely affect groups of people who have systematically experienced greater obstacles to health”.
  • For example, many LGBTQ people report having experienced some form of discrimination at the doctor’s office, including the use of abusive language or denial of service, according to another 2020 AHA report that looked at cardiovascular health in LGBTQ adults..
  • And among people with COVID, Black, Hispanic, Asian and American Indian or Alaska Native patients have higher hospitalization and death rates than white patients, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention..
  • The killing of George Floyd last May reignited the racial and social justice movement and added urgency to the health equity issue, Cruz-Flores said..
  • Indeed, this past year, health organizations and medical societies such as the AHA and American Academy of Neurology committed to efforts to achieve equity and inclusiveness in health care….

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