Report Highlights Health Disparities Between Blacks and Whites in Connecticut
Black residents of Connecticut are less healthy, have less access to adequate health care and pay more for hospitalizations than their white counterparts, according to a study commissioned by the Connecticut NAACP Chapter and funded by the Connecticut Health Foundation, The Day reports.
The study, which is the first to examine the health of Connecticut's 310,000 blacks, lists poverty, cultural and social factors, environmental factors, lack of health insurance and lifestyle as root causes for the disparities.
According to the study, 70% of blacks in the state believe they receive inadequate health care, and 15% said they are unable to obtain health care because of costs. It also found that:
- Black women are twice as likely as whites not to receive prenatal care until late in their pregnancies, and black infants are born prematurely 1.4 times more often than white infants;
- Black men experience higher rates of prostate cancer and related deaths than whites;
- Blacks are hospitalized more often for 11 conditions, including asthma, hypertension and diabetes, which could be avoided if they received proper care; and
- Blacks represent 30% of patients receiving dialysis for end stage renal disease and 9% of the state's population.
James Rawlings -- chair of the health committee of the state's NAACP, who released the study Wednesday at Connecticut College -- said, "How can we be the richest state and look so bad?" adding, "This is an issue of social injustice."
In accordance with the study's recommendations, the state NAACP will launch a campaign to educate the state's blacks about health disparities and ways to eliminate them, in addition to creating a state Office of Minority Health to coordinate public and private health initiatives and undertaking other efforts (Benson, The Day, 12/6).
The study is available online.
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