Health Equity

Kids in a vegetable garden with carrot

Health equity is achieved when every person has the opportunity to “attain his or her full health potential” and no one is “disadvantaged from achieving this potential because of social position or other socially determined circumstances.” Health inequities are reflected in differences in length of life; quality of life; rates of disease, disability, and death; severity of disease; and access to treatment.

One of the primary goals of CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP) is to achieve health equity by eliminating health disparities and achieving optimal health for all Americans. NCCDPHP addresses health equity through its programs, research, tools and resources, and leadership.

Follow the links below to access select information from NCCDPHP on health equity and racial/ethnic disparities.

Navajo Grandmother

Health Equity in Cancer

This site explains what equity is when talking about cancer, how racism leads to cancer health disparities, how cancer health disparities are measured, and what CDC is doing to achieve equity in cancer control.

Chronic Diseases
man riding bicycle

REACH (Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Health)
REACH is a national program that supports community coalitions that design, implement, and evaluate community-driven strategies to eliminate health disparities among the following racial and ethnic groups: African Americans, American Indians, Hispanics/Latinos, Asian Americans, Alaska Natives, and Pacific Islanders. The REACH Web site contains information on the program as well as resources and publications on racial and ethnic health disparities.

Social Determinants of Health Maps
These maps of selected social determinants of health, including poverty, unemployment, education, urban/rural, race, ethnicity, etc., provide information to be used in tandem with other data sources to match heart disease and stroke prevention programs and policies to the needs of local populations.

Surveillance Systems
Many of CDC’s chronic disease surveillance systems, including but not limited to the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, collect specific data to gain better understanding of how social, economic, and other factors can impact health.

Addressing Health Disparities Among Youth
This site provides information on funded programs, surveillance, evaluation, and research activities that address health disparities among youth.

Community Health
mother and daughter walking in the park.

Community Health Approach to Health Disparities
This website provides many resources in the categories of Incorporating Health Equity into Foundational Skills of Public Health, Maximizing Healthy Food and Beverage Strategies to Advance Health Equity, Maximizing Tobacco-Free Living Strategies to Advance Health Equity, and Maximizing Active Living Strategies to Advance Health Equity.

scale and measuring tape

Health Equity Toolkit to Reduce Obesity Disparities
This toolkit and website can help public health practitioners with a systematic approach to program planning using a health equity lens.

Oral Health
child with toothbrush under water faucet

Disparities in Oral Health
This site provides statistics and resources related to disparities in oral health.

chalkboard writing "1-800-quit-now" and "quit smoking"

Tobacco-Related Disparities
This site provides data, scientific articles, and case studies on the differences in the patterns, prevention, and treatment of tobacco use among specific populations.

Page last reviewed: March 3, 2022