Report Highlights Health Disparities Between Blacks, Whites

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Health Disparities

Blackresidents of Connecticutare less healthy, have less access to adequate health care and pay more forhospitalizations than their white counterparts, according to a studycommissioned by the Connecticut NAACP Chapter and funded by the ConnecticutHealth Foundation, The Day reports.

The study, which is the first to examine the health of Connecticut's 310,000blacks, lists poverty, cultural and social factors, environmental factors, lackof health insurance and lifestyle as root causes for the disparities.

According to the study, 70% of blacks in the state believe they receiveinadequate health care, and 15% said they are unable to obtain health carebecause of costs. It also found that:

  • Black women are twice as likely as whites not to receive prenatal care until late in their pregnancies, and black infants are born prematurely 1.4 times more often than white infants;

  • Black men experience higher rates of prostate cancer and related deaths than whites;

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  • Blacks are hospitalized more often for 11 conditions, including asthma, hypertension and diabetes, which could be avoided if they received proper care; and

  • Blacks represent 30% of patients receiving dialysis for end stage renal disease and 9% of the state's population.

JamesRawlings -- chair of the health committee of the state's NAACP, who releasedthe study Wednesday at ConnecticutCollege -- said,"How can we be the richest state and look so bad?" adding, "Thisis an issue of social injustice."

In accordance with the study's recommendations, the state NAACP will launch acampaign to educate the state's blacks about health disparities and ways toeliminate them, in addition to creating a state Office of Minority Health tocoordinate public and private health initiatives and undertaking other efforts(Benson, The Day, 12/6).

Reprintedwith permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report, search the archives, and sign upfor email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Weekly HealthDisparities Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of TheHenry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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