Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Place, not race, may be a larger determinant of health disparities

Date:
October 10, 2011
Source:
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Summary:
Where you live could play a larger role in health disparities than originally thought, according to a new study. Researchers examined a racially integrated, low-income neighborhood in Baltimore, Maryland and found that, with the exception of smoking, nationally reported disparities in hypertension, diabetes, obesity among women and use of health services disappeared or narrowed.

Where you live could play a larger role in health disparities than originally thought, according to a new study by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. They examined a racially integrated, low-income neighborhood in Baltimore, Maryland and found that, with the exception of smoking, nationally reported disparities in hypertension, diabetes, obesity among women and use of health services disappeared or narrowed.

The results are featured in the October 2011 issue of Health Affairs.

"Most of the current health disparities literature fails to account for the fact that the nation is largely segregated, leaving racial groups exposed to different health risks and with variable access to health services based on where they live," said Thomas LaVeist, PhD, lead author of the study, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions, and the William C. and Nancy F. Richardson Professor in Health Policy and Management. "By comparing black and white Americans who are exposed to the same set of socioeconomic, social and environmental conditions we were better equipped to discern the impact of race on health-related outcomes and have concluded social factors are essentially equalized when racial disparities are minimized."

LaVeist and colleagues identified communities in the U.S. containing a population of at least 35 percent African American and 35 percent white residents, and where the African Americans and white residents have similar income and education. Two communities in Baltimore were selected as study sites and in-person interviews were conducted with adult residents. Blood pressure was also measured among a number of study participants. Researchers used data from the National Health Interview Survey to compare national and study-site data on obesity, smoking and diabetes. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey was used to compare national and study-site data on hypertension. Data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey was used to compare the use of health services nationally and in the study area. Researchers concluded that racial differences in social environments explained a significant portion of disparities typically found in national data.

"When whites are exposed to the health risks of an urban environment their health status is compromised similarly to that of blacks, who more commonly live in such communities," said Darrell Gaskin, PhD, co-author of the study, deputy director of the Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions and an associate professor with the Bloomberg School's Department of Health Policy and Management. "Policies aimed solely at health behavior change, biological differences among racial groups, or increased access to health care are limited in their ability to close racial disparities in health. A more effective policy approach would be to address the differing resources of neighborhoods and improve the underlying conditions of health for all."

"Place, Not Race: Disparities Dissipate in Southwest Baltimore When Blacks and Whites Live Under Similar Conditions"was written by Thomas LaVeist, Keshia Pollack, Roland Thorpe, Ruth Fesahazion and Darrell Gaskin.

The research was supported in part by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health and Pfizer.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. T. LaVeist, K. Pollack, R. Thorpe, R. Fesahazion, D. Gaskin. Place, Not Race: Disparities Dissipate In Southwest Baltimore When Blacks And Whites Live Under Similar Conditions. Health Affairs, 2011; 30 (10): 1880 DOI: 10.1377/hlthaff.2011.0640

Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. "Place, not race, may be a larger determinant of health disparities." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111006113613.htm>.
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. (2011, October 10). Place, not race, may be a larger determinant of health disparities. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111006113613.htm
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. "Place, not race, may be a larger determinant of health disparities." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111006113613.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins