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Emerging Trends Could Exacerbate Health Inequities In The United States

Author: Mariana C. Arcaya, José F. Figueroa
$15.00

Health inequities among people of different races and ethnicities, geographical locations, and social classes are not a new phenomenon, although the size of the inequities has changed since researchers first began documenting them. While interventions to improve the health of targeted disadvantaged groups may help combat disparities, broader trends that disproportionately benefit privileged groups or harm vulnerable populations can eclipse the progress made through isolated interventions. These trends threaten equity in health and health care in the United States either through direct effects on health or through impacts on the distribution of resources, risks, and power. We highlight trends in four domains: health care technologies, health reform policies, widening socioeconomic inequality, and environmental hazards. We suggest ways of countering the effects of these trends to promote health equity, focusing on strategies that promise co-benefits across multiple sectors.

Health inequities among people of different races and ethnicities, geographical locations, and social classes are not a new phenomenon, although the size of the inequities has changed since researchers first began documenting them. While interventions to improve the health of targeted disadvantaged groups may help combat disparities, broader trends that disproportionately benefit privileged groups or harm vulnerable populations can eclipse the progress made through isolated interventions. These trends threaten equity in health and health care in the United States either through direct effects on health or through impacts on the distribution of resources, risks, and power. We highlight trends in four domains: health care technologies, health reform policies, widening socioeconomic inequality, and environmental hazards. We suggest ways of countering the effects of these trends to promote health equity, focusing on strategies that promise co-benefits across multiple sectors.

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