Race and health in the United States
|Genetics and differences|
Research on race and health in the United States shows many health disparities between
The U.S. Census definition of race is often applied in biomedical research in the United States. According to the Census Bureau in 2018, race refers to one's self-identification with a certain racial group. The Bureau also specifies that its use of "race" is as a social concept, not a biological or anthropological one. The Census Bureau recognizes five races:
Because race is a social construct and not a biological trait, measures of the relationship between race and medicine are imperfect and inconsistent. The 2000 U.S. Census definition is inconsistently applied across the range of studies that address race as a medical factor, making it more difficult to assess racial categorization in medicine. Additionally, the socially constructed nature of race makes it so that the different health outcomes experienced by different racial groups can be connected to social factors rather than inherent biological ones.
There are significant disparities in health outcomes between the five racial groups recognized by the U.S. Census. These health disparities are in part caused by different levels of income across the five groups recognized by the U.S. Census. There are also notable differences in access to healthcare and the quality of healthcare received by those who identify with different racial categories.