Intended for healthcare professionals


Persistent health disparities in the US signal need for new thinking

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 13 September 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e6204
  1. Keith Epstein
  1. 1Washington, DC

Despite more than a decade of government reports and reforms, philanthropic initiatives, and a focus by researchers and policy makers on the unequal health outcomes of minorities health disparities have remained persistent in the United States.

“Heath disparities are not going away,” concludes a summary of key themes emerging from an Institute of Medicine workshop that included government officials, community health specialists, leading researchers, and advocates for minorities and the poor. “People of color experience an earlier onset and greater severity of negative health outcomes.”

A summary of the workshop released on 12 September notes that the economic downturn has exacerbated “serious effects on health, particularly for low-income families and people of color,” who not …

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