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Numbers tell the story of health care disparities
We believe everyone deserves a health care system that provides quality care. Yet statistics, like those included below, show that racial and ethnic minorities receive lower-quality health care than non-minorities do.
For more than a decade, we’ve made addressing these differences a major priority. These efforts include creating programs and using technology to bridge the gaps. We believe these efforts will lead to better health outcomes -- for everyone.
Health care statistics
These numbers (and the people they represent) drive our efforts to address inequalities.
For most cancers, African Americans have the highest death rate and shortest survival of any group in the United States. 1
Hispanic and African-American women who get breast cancer are more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage than white women are. 2, 3
Hispanic women are twice as likely as white women to have cervical cancer. 4
Asians and Pacific Islanders are the only groups for whom cancer is the leading cause of death; heart disease is the leading cause of death among all other groups. 5
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have the highest incidence rates for both liver and stomach cancers and are twice as likely to die from these cancers as whites are. 6
Heart disease statistics:
African Americans are 1.4 times as likely as whites to have high blood pressure. 7
African Americans are much more likely than people in other racial/ethnic groups to die from heart disease and stroke. Heart disease and stroke are the biggest reasons for inequality in life expectancy between whites and African Americans. 8
African-American adults are 60 percent more likely to have a stroke than white adults are. African-American stroke survivors are more likely to become disabled and have difficulty with activities of daily living than their non-Hispanic white counterparts. 9
African Americans are twice as likely as whites to have diabetes. Hispanics are 1.7 times as likely as whites to have diabetes. Hispanics are also 1.5 times as likely as whites to die from diabetes. American Indians and Alaska Natives are twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites of similar age to have diabetes. 10
Mental health statistics:
African Americans are 20 percent more likely to report having serious psychological distress than non-Hispanic whites are. 11
In general, minorities have less access to, and less availability of, mental health services. 12
Infant mortality statistics:
African Americans have 2.4 times the infant mortality rate than non-Hispanic whites do. 13
Infant mortality rates are higher among African Americans and American Indians/Alaska Natives than among other racial/ethnic groups. 14
1American Cancer Society, Cancer Facts and Figures for African Americans 2013-2014 (PDF). Accessed March 20, 2014.
2American Cancer Society, Breast Cancer Facts and Figures 2013-2014 (PDF). Accessed March 20, 2014.
3American Cancer Society, Cancer Facts and Figures for Hispanics/Latinos 2013-2014 (PDF). Accessed March 20, 2014.
4Office of Minority Health, Cancer Data/Statistics. Accessed March 20, 2014.
5U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heart Disease facts. Accessed April 10, 2014.
6National Cancer Institute, Cancer Health Disparities. Accessed March 20, 2014.
7Office of Minority Health, Heart Disease and African Americans. Accessed March 24, 2014.
8U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Black or African American Populations. Accessed March 20, 2014.
9Office of Minority Health, Stroke and African Americans. Accessed March 24, 2014.
10Office of Minority Health, Diabetes Data/Statistics. Accessed March 25, 2014.
11Office of Minority Health, Mental Health and African Americans. Accessed March 25, 2014.
12Office of Minority Health, Mental Health Data/Statistics. Accessed March 25, 2014.
13Office of Minority Health. Infant Mortality and African Americans. Accessed March 24, 2014.
14U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Indian and Alaska Native Populations. Accessed March 24, 2014
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