Health disparities are differences in health outcomes between groups that reflect social inequalities. Health disparities result in more avoidable illnesses and deaths in one group of people than another and arise from a variety of causes, not all of which are fully understood. Some factors hypothesized to influence disparities include:
Social and physical environmental conditions, opportunities, and stressors that impact health
Limited access to primary and preventive health care
Quality of health care received
Differences based on race, ethnicity, or economics can be reduced. Reducing health disparities requires government policymakers, health professionals, researchers, and community groups to work together. Specific and achievable goals must be set across a range of disciplines, including but not limited to health, housing, education and criminal justice.
Health Disparities in New York City is a new publication series from the Health Department. The goals for this series are to inspire action by documenting current health disparities in the city, as well as changes over time, and identifying community- and policy-based solution to close the health gaps among New Yorkers.
This issue of Health Disparities in New York City describes health disparities among racial/ethnic and neighborhood-income groups in NYC for breast, colorectal and cervical cancers, and recommends actions to close the gaps along the continuum of cancer illness and death. This report concludes with strategies to help reduce these health disparities.
This issue of Health Disparities in New York City focuses on health differences among racial/ethnic and income groups using three general measures of population health - life expectancy, overall mortality (or death), and premature death. This report concludes with strategies to help reduce these health disparities.