Update in Health Disparities

This article presents findings from a selection of the research literature published on racial and ethnic disparities in health care during 2006. The authors reviewed nine studies about clinical practice as it related to health care disparities in areas such as cardiovascular risk, breast cancer and culturally-appropriate health care interventions.

Key Findings:

  • For a majority of the racial and ethnic minority sample, increased television viewing each day was related to less physical activity, as measured by fewer steps taken per day, by participants.
  • Use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEI) was related to a decreased risk of diabetes mellitus for African Americans with kidney disease and hypertension.
  • Nurse management was associated with improved functioning and lower rates of hospitalization for a predominantly racial and ethnic minority sample of patients with congestive heart failure.
  • The families of Latina breast cancer patients, across levels of acculturation, have an impact on decisions made about treatment for breast cancer.
  • Asian Americans reported more satisfaction with health care when they were questioned and engaged in discussion about complementary and alternative medical therapies.
  • Differences in cancer screening between racial and ethnic groups can be mediated by health interventions that address culture and language characteristics relevant to racial and ethnic groups.