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Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities Are Pervasive in the US, Across Most Causes of Death and in Most Counties, New Study Shows

Published on August 10, 2023

Image shows doctor attending patient in hospital bed with back to camera through partially open doorway
Image Credit: Medill DC (CC BY-2.0)

It’s been more than two years since the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared racism a public health threat, and a new study gives a stark look at just how pervasive racial and ethnic disparities are in the United States. Researchers tracked US mortality data across nearly two decades, breaking rates down by race and ethnicity and to the county level.

They found that Black and American Indian people had the highest overall mortality rates each year from 2000 to 2019, and that these groups also had the highest mortality rates for nearly all causes of death nationwide.

Of the 19 causes of death that were assessed, which encompass the vast majority of total deaths in the US, the only cause of death that was the highest for the White population was neurological disorders.

“When you look across these 19 causes, there are racial and ethnic disparities in mortality and there are also geographic disparities in mortality for every single cause,” said Laura Dwyer-Lindgren, an assistant professor at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation [Department of Global Health] and study author. “The consistency of that overall finding – that these huge disparities are always there – really stuck out to me.”

Continue reading at CNN.

Original story by for CNN.
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