Health Disparities


Although inequalities in income and education underlie many health disparities, the poor are sometimes held responsible for their health status. For instance, Dr. Ichiro Kawachi, a Harvard University professor and social epidemiologist, reports that the ability to avoid negative health behaviors such as smoking and eating unhealthy foods depends on the access to “income, education, and the social determinants of health” (1999).

On the basis of your knowledge of the socioeconomic status of minorities, answer the following questions:

What are the most prominent socioeconomic barriers associated with achieving better health for minority individuals?
What are the expectations of society to manage the health of individuals?
How do social influences affect the health of individuals?
In addition to the above, consider the input that research on how health promotion and disease prevention efforts for minorities have been minimal compared to non-minorities. Many health treatments that address health risks for minorities are based on research conducted on non-minorities. With reference to your understanding of the health promotion and disease prevention programs, mention the factors that determine whether the health treatments based on research on non-minorities can successfully address the needs of minorities.


Kawachi, I. (1999). Social capital and community effects on population and individual death. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 896, pp. 120–130.

Sample Solution