An examination of these disparities at the local and national levels is important in order to highlight the widespread nature of these health inequities.
At the national level, African American men, for instance, are more likely to die from cancer than Caucasian men. While Caucasian women are more likely to develop breast cancer than African-American women, the latter are more likely to die from this particular form of cancer than Caucasian women. While Caucasian men are more likely to develop colorectal cancer than African-American men, the latter are more likely to die from this cancer than the former. On the other hand, African-American men are more likely than Caucasian men to develop prostate cancer. The underlying causes of these disparities are socio-economic policies, health access issues among African-Americans which Caucasian persons are less likely to encounter, as well as a lack of health education.
Among America’s minority populations, race, ethnicity, and poverty are more pronounced than among Caucasian Americans. According to the US Census Bureau, in 2013, 25 percent of Hispanics, 11 percent of persons of Asian descent, and 27 percent of African Americans lived in poverty while only 12 percent of Caucasians lived in poverty. Moreover, the more impoverished one is, the more likely it is that one cannot afford health insurance. In 2012, 23 percent of “poor” and 24 percent of “lower-income” persons in the US lacked health insurance. In 2012, 26 percent of Native American/Alaska Natives, 18 percent of African Americans, 16 percent of persons of Asian descent, and 12 percent of native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders lacked health insurance. In a 2013 study of the non-elderly uninsured, 32 percent of all Hispanics, 14 percent of all African Americans, and 6 percent of all Americans of Asian/Pacific Islander descent reported they lacked health insurance. The same study looked at all non-elderly, uninsured Americans and found that 71 percent of this population had 1 or more full time workers in the family.
The costs of health care in the United States may also impoverish many American citizens. According to a recent report, 62 percent of persons who filed bankruptcy in 2007 did so as a result of medical expenses.
Minnesota’s 2014 Health Equity Report highlights the disparate mortality rates of various races broken down by age group per 100,000 persons between the years of 2007 and 2011. For the 45 to 64 age group, 772 African American, 1,063 Native Americans, 325 persons of Asian descent, and 434 Caucasian persons died per 100,000 persons. Data from Rhode Island during the years 2011-13 shows the disparities which Hispanics and African Americans face. While 41 percent of Latinos 26 percent of African Americans reported having not having any health insurance during this time, 13 percent of Caucasians in Rhode Island reported the same information. While 31 percent of Hispanics and 22 percent of Native Americans in Rhode Island reported not being able to afford seeing a health care provider during this period, 12 percent of Caucasians reported the same information. The National Center for Health Statistics reported in March 2015 that African-American and Latino children are almost twice as likely as Caucasian children to have untreated tooth decay in primary teeth.
The numbers of Hispanics with health insurance differs nationally. In 2012, the number of uninsured Hispanics was 29 percent and in 2013 this number dipped to 24 percent.