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Income, Race Affect Access To Care Of Chronic Health Conditions

Armen Hareyan's picture

Accessto health care on Long Island is "sharply divided along economic lines,with the deepest disparities affecting members of ethnic minoritycommunities," according to a survey led by two researchers at Adelphi University, Long Island Newsday reports. The survey of 1,561 peoplefound that:

  • Half of participants reported at least one chronic health problem, and those with lower socioeconomic status were more likely to report an ongoing health issue;
  • Blacks on Long Island had a rate of type 2 diabetes that was twice as high as the region as a whole; and
  • One-fifth of Hispanics and 26% of all residents with annual incomes lower than $20,000 said they had major problems paying for necessities such as rent, mortgage or food after covering health costs in the previous year.

Arthur Gianelli, president and CEO of Nassau Health Care Corp., said, "thereal meaning for Long Island [is] that as affluent as Nassauand Suffolkare, there are still significant issues with access to health care. The studygives us a picture of who lacks access to care and which demographics andsubdemographics are most affected."

Cynthia Aranow of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research said that whilethe survey looked at many large issues, it did not examine smaller healthconditions that might have had a large impact on minorities and women. She saidthat autoimmune conditions affect many of the subpopulations the surveyexamined and require routine medical care, which many people cannot afford(Ricks, Long Island Newsday,1/11).

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.