Addiction and Criminology

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Opinion Article - Addiction and Criminology (2023) Volume 6, Issue 2

Uncovering the inequities: Exploring racial health disparities and their impact on society.

Danni Rhys*

Department of Brain Sciences, Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College London, UK

Corresponding Author:
Danni Rhys
Department of Brain Sciences
Hammersmith Hospital
Imperial College London, UK.
E-mail:
r.danni@imperial.ac.uk

Received: 25-Mar-2023, Manuscript No. AARA-23-93637; Editor assigned: 28-Mar-2023, PreQC No. AARA-23-93637 (PQ); Reviewed: 10-Apr-2023, QC No. AARA-23-93637; Revised: 15-Apr-2023, Manuscript No. AARA-23-93637 (R); Published: 21-Apr-2023, DOI: 10.35841/aara- 6.2.140

Citation: Rhys D. Uncovering the inequities: Exploring racial health disparities and their impact on society. Addict Criminol. 2023;6(2):140

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Racial health disparities refer to the differences in health outcomes between individuals of different races or ethnicities. These disparities are a complex issue and can be influenced by a variety of factors, including social determinants of health, access to healthcare, environmental factors, and systemic racism.

Research has shown that people of colour in the United States experience higher rates of chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease, as well as higher rates of infant mortality and shorter life expectancies compared to their white counterparts. These health disparities are not only unfair, but they also have significant social and economic implications, such as increased healthcare costs and decreased workforce productivity [1].

Social determinants of health, such as poverty, housing, education, and employment, play a significant role in racial health disparities. For example, individuals who live in poverty are more likely to experience poor health outcomes due to lack of access to healthy food options, safe living conditions, and quality healthcare. Additionally, people of colour are more likely to live in neighbourhoods with high levels of environmental pollution, which can lead to a variety of health issues, such as asthma and cardiovascular disease. Systemic racism also contributes to racial health disparities. Discrimination in healthcare settings can result in lower quality of care and reduced access to healthcare services for people of colour. Additionally, historical and on-going policies that perpetuate segregation and inequality, such as redlining and discriminatory lending practices have resulted in racially segregated neighbourhoods with limited access to resources [2].

Addressing racial health disparities will require a multifaceted approach. Strategies may include increasing access to affordable healthcare, addressing the root causes of poverty and inequality, and implementing policies that address environmental and social determinants of health. Additionally, healthcare providers can work to address implicit bias and discrimination in healthcare settings to improve the quality of care for all individuals. Racial health disparities are a complex and multifaceted issue that require attention and action. By addressing social determinants of health, systemic racism, and healthcare access, we can work to ensure that all individuals have the opportunity to live healthy and fulfilling lives, regardless of their race or ethnicity.

Poverty is a major driver of racial health disparities, as individuals living in poverty often lack access to healthy food options, safe living conditions, and quality healthcare. Poverty disproportionately affects communities of color, with Black and Hispanic individuals experiencing poverty rates higher than the national average. As a result, people of color are more likely to experience chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity, as well as higher rates of infant mortality and shorter life expectancies [3].

Access to healthcare is another significant factor contributing to racial health disparities. People of color are more likely to be uninsured or underinsured, which limits their ability to access preventive care and treatment for health issues. Additionally, healthcare providers may not be culturally competent, leading to implicit bias and discrimination in healthcare settings that can result in lower quality of care for people of color. Environmental factors also play a role in racial health disparities, with people of color more likely to live in neighbourhoods with high levels of environmental pollution. This can lead to a variety of health issues, including respiratory problems, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Communities of color are also more likely to be located near industrial sites, hazardous waste facilities, and other sources of pollution, which can have long-term health impacts [4].

Systemic racism also contributes to racial health disparities. Discrimination in healthcare settings can result in lower quality of care and reduced access to healthcare services for people of color. Additionally, historical and on-going policies that perpetuate segregation and inequality, such as redlining and discriminatory lending practices have resulted in racially segregated neighbourhoods with limited access to resources.

Addressing racial health disparities will require a comprehensive approach that addresses the underlying causes of these disparities. Strategies may include increasing access to affordable healthcare, addressing the root causes of poverty and inequality, implementing policies that address environmental and social determinants of health, and working to address implicit bias and discrimination in healthcare settings. Ultimately, addressing racial health disparities is not only a matter of social justice but is also critical for promoting health equity and improving health outcomes for all individuals [5].

References

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  3. Khanijahani A, Iezadi S, Gholipour K, et al. A systematic review of racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in COVID-19. Int J Equity Health. 2021;20(1):1-30.
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  5. Jackson CL, Powell-Wiley TM, Gaston SA, et al. Racial/ethnic disparities in sleep health and potential interventions among women in the United States. J Womens Health. 2020;29(3):435-42.
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  7. Forde AT, Crookes DM, Suglia SF, et al. The weathering hypothesis as an explanation for racial disparities in health: a systematic review. Ann Epidemiol. 2019;33:1-8.
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  9. Cogburn CD. Culture, race, and health: implications for racial inequities and population health. The Milbank Q. 2019;97(3):736-61.
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