Health Disparities in the US

Used with permission of Families USA.

The Aetna Foundation Prize focuses on developing technology solutions that address health disparities created by systematic or social challenges that disproportionately affect marginalized communities in the United States. The nationally recognized Health People 2020 initiative defines a health disparity as “a particular type of health difference that is closely linked with social, economic, and/or environmental disadvantage. Health disparities adversely affect groups of people who have systematically experienced greater obstacles to health based on their racial or ethnic group; religion; socioeconomic status; gender; age; mental health; cognitive, sensory, or physical disability; sexual orientation or gender identity; geographic location; or other characteristics historically linked to discrimination or exclusion.”

Disturbing examples of health disparities in the United States include the fact that that African Americans are 44% more likely to die from stroke, 30% more likely to die from heart disease, and more than twice as likely to die from diabetes compared to Whites. African American women are 2.5 times as likely to die during pregnancy compared to White women, and Latino adults are 6 times more likely to have tuberculosis compared to White adults.

The following resources provide an overview of unacceptable disparities in health outcomes and associated risk factors that burden populations both nationally and within the Greater New Haven community.