The Department of Public Health in cooperation with the CT Health Foundation recently released their 2009 Connecticut Health Disparities Report. The report defines health disparities as “avoidable differences in health that result from cumulative social disadvantage.” Connecticut is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse; from 2000-2007, there were significant increases in the populations of Asians, Latinos, and Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders.
Some key findings:
From 2000-2004, Black Connecticut residents had a death rate from all causes that was 1.2 times higher than White residents. This is the highest death rate of any CT residents.
The leading cause of death in CT from 2000-2004 was heart disease. Black residents had the highest death rate from heart disease, roughly 1.2 times higher than White residents.
Black residents also have higher rates of cancer, cerebrovascular disease or stroke, diabetes, death from diabetes, hospitalizations for diabetes, and lower-extremity amputations from diabetes.
Lower income adults are less likely to get recommended screening tests for certain cancers and are more likely to be obese.
Adult cigarette smokers are more likely to be lower income, younger, and have less education.
From 2001-2005, Black and Latino residents were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS at rates 7.4 and 6.6 times higher than Whites, respectively.
The highest rates of pregnant women with late or no prenatal care in the first trimester were among Latina and Black women.
Latino children had the highest percentage of “tooth decay experience” (49.3%); for Black children the percentage was 42.8% and for Asian children 42%.
Latino residents are about 5.4 times more likely to be uninsured than White residents.
No solutions are suggested to improve any of these serious health disparities. However, the report does recommend collecting more data. Some of the areas in which they would like to see more research are:
Subgroups within the Latino and Black populations
Access to quality health care and issues concerning language barriers for Latinos
Influences on health of poverty, environments, and discrimination for Black residents
Health experiences of American Indians, Alaska natives, Asians, Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders