Health Disparities: A Case Study

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Health disparities; i.e. a difference in health among segments of population based on the social determinants of health have a significant impact on the individuals health status and their ability to access healthcare services. Although the overall health of the United States population has improved, large disparities in terms of health outcome and access to healthcare exist between wealthier Americans and their “poorer counterparts primarily because of differences in education, behavior, and environment. Higher incomes permit people to buy healthier food; live in safer, cleaner neighborhoods; and exercise regularly” (Longest, 2015, p8). Over the last two decades, the public health community’s attention has placed lots of emphasis on addressing the non-medical factors, such…show more content…
(Healthy People 2020, n.d). As humans, we constantly interact with our surroundings, thus where we live, learn, work and play greatly influences our health outcome, therefore efforts aimed at improving this issue of disparity requires an understanding of the complex conditions in the social system that contribute to the illness in the first place. I chose this topic because as a Public Health student with a concentration of Health Promotion and Education I constantly think about the ways the social determinants of health and health disparities at large contribute to the wide variety of illnesses and diseases and the economic burden caused by these inequalities. In this essay, I hope to explore how the social determinates of health influences an individual’s health outcome, their ability to access healthcare services and the efforts/ interventions that aim at reducing these disparities among minorities. Hence, members of minority racial/ethnic groups suffer a proportionally higher burden of disease and death due to the conditions in which they live

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