Sunday, February 23, 2014

Health Disparities

This week's reading focuses on Race and Ethnicity in Public Health Research. As a Community Health major, this is definitely a major focus of the public health community. After almost four years, health disparities have boiled down to race, ethnicity, and overall socioeconomic status. After completing the reading by Dressler, Oths, and Gravlee, these bases are reaffirmed. However, the article gives specific models as to explain why these disparities exist.

I found the epidemiological evidence to be most interesting because I almost aspired to be an epidemiologist and I like to see the differences in health among various cultures. These differences are explained through the different studies mentioned in the article. However, the combination of overall health disparities and educational disparities really strikes me because the main focus of health care now is prevention and education so that we can lower the chronic diseases in the United States.

I also thought this article was quite interesting because although I have previously examined these models, I still find the socioeconomic status model to be the most prominent. Now-a-days, you see that the United States has definitely become more diverse, but it still seems as if Caucasian individuals are the majority of the population and that they hold more wealth than, say, blacks or Hispanics and this creates major differences in health care; specifically access, environment, and overall costs. It is proven time and time again that these major differences between populations negatively affect the minority populations.

Often I found that I couldn't just rely on one model because other models also fit certain criterion for the sample population. However, I am curious to see how these models may change over time seeing as the classification of races may become muddled based on the fact that there will be more multi-racial children. (I mention this because I because my mom is Mexican and my dad is Caucasian, and I wonder if I would skew data or if researchers take things like this into account.) So, would this change the previous data significantly? I suppose only time will tell. I'd love to hear other thoughts about these models and other possible outcomes.

1 comment:

  1. Learning about the differences in health among various cultures was very interesting for myself also. I am an anthropology major, with a focus in pre-Medicine, so I really enjoy learning about health issues concerning various cultures. I really applaud the Dressler article for making us understand why there were disparities in health across the various cultures. Most of the hypothesis that were giving by this article were what most people would think is the reason for why we have so much disparity within various cultures, concerning health, but I am glad they proved us wrong. For example, a statement like a person’s individual choices concerning their health is the main reason why there is health disparity across cultures, but from this article we learn that it can contribute to it, but it is not the main problem.