Race and health
|Genetics and differences|
Race and health refers to how being identified with a specific race influences health. Race is a complex concept that changes across time and space and that depends on both self-identification and social recognition. In the study of race and health, scientists organize people in racial categories depending on different factors such as: phenotype, ancestry, social identity, genetic makeup and lived experience. “Race” and ethnicity often remain undifferentiated in health research.
Health disparities are defined as “preventable differences in the burden of disease, injury, violence, or opportunities to achieve optimal health that are experienced by socially disadvantaged populations”. Health disparities are intrinsically related to the “historical and current unequal distribution of social, political, economic and environmental resources".
Social, political, economic, environmental, cultural and biological factors constitute determinants of health. The relation between race and health has been studied from a multidisciplinary perspective, paying attention to how racism influence health disparities and how environmental factors and physiological factors respond to each other and to genetics.
Health disparities refer to gaps in the quality of health and
How researchers view race is often linked to how we address racial disparities because the national administrator of health uses these research findings to implement policies.
Difference between health inequity and health disparities
Although Individuals from different environmental, continental, socioeconomic, and racial groups etc. have different levels of health, yet not all of these differences are always categorized or defined as health disparities. Some researchers separate definitions of health inequality from health disparity by preventability. Health inequalities are often categorized as being unavoidable i.e due to age, while preventable unfair health outcomes are categorized as health inequities. These are seen as preventable because they are usually associated with income, education, race, ethnicity, gender, and more.