Wanted: A prescription for health equity

4.8.16

4.8.16

April marks the observance of National Minority Health Month, underscoring efforts to accelerate health equity in the United States.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which sponsors National Minority Health Month, is the nation’s lead agency for improving the health of racial and ethnic minorities through policies and programs to stem health disparities.

While great strides have been made to advance equity and to protect the health and wellness of all Americans, we know more work is needed.

For example, we know that African-Americans remain more at risk for kidney failure than other races or ethnic groups – representing 1 in 3 kidney failure patients, or 200,000 people. While African-Americans make up about 13 percent of the U.S. population, they comprise more than 30 percent of Americans with kidney failure.

Similarly, African-Americans are nearly twice as likely to de diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 13.2 percent of African-American adults have been diagnosed with diabetes. This compares to 12.8 percent for Hispanic adults, and 7.3 percent for non-Hispanic white adults.

The fact that African-Americans and other people of color are more likely to be diagnosed with these difficult chronic diseases also means that they are proportionally more likely to suffer harm from patient discrimination.

Working together, we can continue improving equity and reduce disparities. Please join us to ensure we all have a voice for patient rights. You can learn more about reasons to join the CDC by clicking here. If you have a story you’d like to share, please send us an email.