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Sizable Health Disparities Evident in Every State Between Women of Different Racial and Ethnic Groups
Date:6/9/2009

NEW STATE-LEVEL DATA SHOW DISPARITIES VARY WIDELY ACROSS STATES

WASHINGTON, June 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A decade after U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher called for the elimination of racial disparities in health, women of color in every state continue to fare worse than white women on a variety of measures of health, health care access and other social determinants of health according to a new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The report, "Putting Women's Health Care Disparities on the Map: Examining Racial and Ethnic Disparities at the State Level," documents the persistence of disparities on 25 indicators between white women and women of color, including rates of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, AIDS and cancer, as well as insurance coverage and health screenings. It also documents disparities in the factors that influence health and access to care, such as income and education. Women of color fared worse than white women on most measures and in some cases the disparities were stark.

National statistics mask substantial state-by-state variation in disparities. The report moves beyond national figures to quantify where disparities are greatest, providing new information to help determine how best to combat the problem. The analysis also provides new state-level data for women of many racial and ethnic populations that are often difficult to obtain.

"This report demonstrates that disparities in health are not one problem but many and vary from state to state -- and that a variety of strategies will be needed if we hope to turn things around," said Kaiser President and CEO Drew Altman.

American Indian and Alaska Native Women Experience Some of the Greatest Challenges

Among different racial and ethnic groups, American Indian and Alaska Native women had among the worst outcomes on many health indicators, oft
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SOURCE Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
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