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New Health Disparities Report: Same As It Ever Was

New Health Disparities Report: Same As It Ever Was

Picture of Barbara Feder Ostrov

New Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today released a new report on health disparities showing that:

  • Forty-eight percent of all African Americans adults suffer from a chronic disease compared to 39 percent of the general population.
  • Eight percent of white Americans develop diabetes while 15 percent of African Americans, 14 percent of Hispanics, and 18 percent of American Indians develop diabetes.
  • Hispanics were one-third less likely to be counseled on obesity than were whites -- only 44 percent of Hispanics received counseling.
  • African Americans are 15 percent more likely to be obese than whites.

About one-third of the uninsured have a chronic disease, and they are six times less likely to receive care.

It's nice to have updated figures, but what's striking about this report is how little has changed since previous examinations of racial and ethnic disparities in health. Obama administration officials are tying this report to their push for health reform, with Sebelius and White House Office of Health Reform Director Nancy-Ann DeParle tag-teaming a meeting with health reform stakeholders at the White House today.

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