Study of Vital Statistics by ZIP Code Shows Health Disparities Affecting Minorities in the Treatment of Kidney and Cardiovascular Diseases

From 2002 to 2004, researchers at the National Minority Health Month Foundation (formerly the National Association for Elimination of Health Disparities) collected vital statistics data by ZIP code and added them to a minority health status database.

Researchers used the database to analyze kidney disease and cardiovascular disease to determine whether different outcomes were related to minority versus non-minority ZIP codes. (Minority ZIP codes are those in which at least 50 percent of the residents are minorities.)

Key Findings

  • The average annual incidence of end-stage kidney disease in minority ZIP codes—579 per million people—was nearly twice as high as in non-minority ZIP codes—294 per million people, between 1992 and 2001.

  • Premature death rates from cardiovascular disease (i.e., between the ages of 5 and 64) were substantially higher in minority ZIP codes—87.15 per 100,000 people—than in non-minority ZIP codes—63.45 per 100,000 people.