How Societal Factors Lead to Gaps in Health Care

brief published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation examines how societal factors like race, gender and education can affect health disparities. The brief examines new findings on the topic such as patterns related to geography.

This chart shows the correlation between race, gender, education, and life expectancy.

This chart shows the correlation between race, gender, education, and life expectancy.

The figure shows disparities in life expectancy by race and gender. Hispanic females have the highest life expectancy while black males have the lowest, regardless of their educational attainment. The common thread in this chart is that the more educated a person is, the longer they are likely to live. Furthermore, the report points out that the gap in life expectancy between those who have 16 or more years of education and those with fewer than 12 years has increased over time.

The study also suggests that there are some preventable disparities based on three categories: behavioral (diet, exercise, etc.), social (an individual’s home, neighborhood, and peer groups), and health care. Each of these factors may play a role in physical health (like diabetes and cancer) or mental health (such as depression or anxiety). The evidence also suggests a correlation between a person’s health and health insurance status. With the Affordable Care Act poised to expand health care coverage to most Americans, there is hope of reducing the role of uninsurance on health disparities in the U.S.

This story was originally published with the VCU Center on Society and Health. You can read more about the subject on their website.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in VCU Center on Society and Health and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s