Brian D. Smedley
First published 5/2/11 on Kaiser Health News
During the month of April — Minority Health Month — the Obama administration took significant steps to build momentum for efforts to eliminate racial and ethnic health inequities. But with this momentum the stakes have become higher than ever, just as fiscal and political pressures mount that could undermine progress.
Health inequities span from the cradle to the grave, in the form of higher rates of infant mortality, chronic disease, disability and premature death among many racial and ethnic minority groups. A large volume of research demonstrates that these inequities persist even after socioeconomic factors — such as income and education levels — are considered. For example, African American mothers with a college degree experience infant mortality at rates higher than white mothers who have less than a high school education.