Income, Race Affect Access to Care, Reporting of Chronic Health Conditions Among Those Living on Long Island, Survey Shows
Access to health care on Long Island is "sharply divided along economic lines, with the deepest disparities affecting members of ethnic minority communities," according to a survey led by two researchers at Adelphi University, Long Island Newsday reports. The survey of 1,561 people found that:
- Half of participants reported at least one chronic health problem, and those with lower socioeconomic status were more likely to report an ongoing health issue;
- Blacks on Long Island had a rate of type 2 diabetes that was twice as high as the region as a whole; and
- One-fifth of Hispanics and 26% of all residents with annual incomes lower than $20,000 said they had major problems paying for necessities such as rent, mortgage or food after covering health costs in the previous year.
Arthur Gianelli, president and CEO of Nassau Health Care Corp., said, "the real meaning for Long Island [is] that as affluent as Nassau and Suffolk are, there are still significant issues with access to health care. The study gives us a picture of who lacks access to care and which demographics and subdemographics are most affected."
Cynthia Aranow of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research said that while the survey looked at many large issues, it did not examine smaller health conditions that might have had a large impact on minorities and women. She said that autoimmune conditions affect many of the subpopulations the survey examined and require routine medical care, which many people cannot afford (Ricks, Long Island Newsday, 1/11). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.