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Health Disparities


Did You Know? is a weekly feature from the Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support to inform your prevention activities. We invite you to read, share, and take action!

View the Current Did You Know?

May 5, 2017

  • Although African Americans overall are living longer, younger African Americans are living with or dying of many conditions more common at older ages.
  • African Americans aged 18–49 years are twice as likely to die [PDF-793KB] from heart disease as whites, and African Americans aged 35–64 years are 50% more likely to have high blood pressure than whites.
  • Public health professionals can use proven programs to reduce disparities and barriers to create opportunities for improving health.

April 28, 2017

  • About 1 in 7 US children aged 2–8 years has a mental, behavioral, or developmental disorder, such as anxiety, learning problems, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
  • Kids who have these disorders and live in rural areas face personal, financial, and neighborhood challenges more often than those who live in urban areas.
  • Rural children and their parents might need additional support from states, healthcare systems, and primary care providers—here’s how to help them thrive.

April 14, 2017

February 17, 2017

  • Americans living in rural areas are more likely to die from heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, chronic lower respiratory disease, and stroke than Americans in urban areas.
  • Compared with urban residents, rural residents are more likely to smoke, be overweight, and not meet physical activity recommendations.
  • You can find ways to help reduce the difference between rural and urban disease risk in a special MMWR series and in Healthy People 2020.

January 13, 2017

July 15, 2016

  • Cigarette smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer, and African American men have the highest rates of lung cancer in the United States.
  • Menthol cigarette smoking is highest among African Americans—a likely effect of targeted marketing by the tobacco industry. 
  • To learn more about tobacco-related behaviors and disparities among African Americans, read the new supplement in Nicotine & Tobacco Research. 

November 20, 2015

May 8, 2015

  • According to this month’s Vital Signs, on average, 1 in 3 Hispanics in the US don’t speak English well, which limits their ability to understand health information in English.
  • Hispanics are 50% more likely to die from diabetes or liver disease than non-Hispanic whites.
  • Health professionals can collaborate with promotores (community health workers) to help Hispanics get appropriate educational materials in Spanish and to learn about their specific risk factors.

December 19, 2014

July 18, 2014

  • Traffic-related air pollution is highest near major roads. In 2010, 5.0% of Hispanics, 5.4% of Asians/Pacific Islanders, and 5.1% of foreign-born persons lived within 150 meters of a major highway (vs. 3.7% of the overall US population).
  • Exposure to traffic-related air pollution leads to asthma attacks and may lead to onset of childhood asthma, other respiratory symptoms, and cardiovascular disease and death.
  • Improved access to alternative transportation, financial incentives to reduce traffic, diesel retrofitting, and other measures could help reduce exposure to traffic emissions.

December 13, 2013

  • CDC’s new Health Disparities and Inequalities Report—United States, 2013 reveals how characteristics such as race, ethnicity, education level, geography, and disability status can affect one’s risk for disease and premature death.
  • The report shows that by 2010, the preterm birth rate for black infants had declined to the lowest level ever reported (17%), but remained about 60% higher than the preterm birth rate for white and Asian/Pacific Islander infants.
  • Health department staff can use the information in this report [PDF-3.7MB] to help communities eliminate disparities among groups that experience a disproportionate burden of disease, disability, and death.

April 15, 2011

April 8, 2011

January 14, 2011

Did You Know?  information and web links are current as of their publication date. They may become outdated over time.

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