Health Equity Indicators Profiles

Health equity indicators (HEIs) represent constructs that have been shown to be important for understanding the causes of inequities in cardiovascular disease (CVD). In this toolkit, HEIs are categorized into eight focus areas, or health equity themes, as depicted in the HEI Conceptual Framework for Cardiovascular Disease.

An indicator profile is available for each focus area (except for classism) to describe the relevance of the indicators and provide specific measures that health departments or health care organizations may use to support health equity efforts:

Although classism is an important determinant of CVD inequities, indicators of classism are similar to those specified for other focus areas (e.g., racism, socioeconomic factors, neighborhood characteristics, policy). Therefore, there is not a separate indicator profile for classism.

Each indicator profile begins with a short summary of the evidence on the relevance of the indicator for CVD prevention, management, care, and/or equity. Depending on the indicator and available data, one or more specific measures are listed to help quantify or qualify different attributes of the indicator. The profile specifies a data source(s) that provides data for each measure and guidance for accessing the data source(s). The indicator profiles provide guidance on existing data sources for secondary data collection and survey instruments for primary data collection. The majority of data sources are publicly available, easy to access, and free to users unless otherwise specified. Each indicator profile includes links to data sources, except in a few cases when the entire questionnaire from a survey instrument is provided. An entire questionnaire is provided in lieu of a link when the survey instrument is not publicly available. Where applicable, additional considerations for calculating data for the measures, or suggestions for potential use for the measures are provided. Each profile concludes with a list of select references for further information.

Although the list of indicators provided for each focus area is not exhaustive of all constructs relevant to addressing equity in cardiovascular health, it reflects concepts relevant for health care and public health professionals seeking to incorporate equity measurement in their work. Similarly, the list of measures and data sources noted within the indicator profiles is not comprehensive but rather provides a starting point and ideas for ways toolkit users can gather data on various factors that affect inequities in CVD and/or excessive mortality within specific populations.

Health departments or health care organizations may have access to their own data sources that are equally or more relevant. Where opportunities exist, primary data collection through surveys, patient intake forms, or other means may also yield more specific and targeted data to address health inequities within a specific setting.