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How a new way of parsing COVID-19 data began to show the breadth of health gaps between Blacks and whites

4 28 26

Physicians and public health experts know that older adults are more susceptible to the flu than those in other age groups. We also know the health of Black Americans is worse than that of almost all other groups for not only flu, but for chronic conditions and cancer. These are two examples of health disparities, or health gaps – when demographic groups show differences in disease severity.

As we analyze the latest data from the COVID-19 pandemic, a more complete picture on infections, hospitalizations and death rates has emerged, along with new conversations about health disparities. The COVID data underscore what social scientists, epidemiologists and other public health researchers have long said: It is not enough to look at a lump sum of data about any health issue, including COVID-19, and think we have the full picture.

By disaggregating the data – that is, breaking the data down into subgroups, like age and race – we can learn how to make the most of our limited resources. Do that, and we can better strive for a more equitable society and increased entry to a healthy lifestyle for all Americans.

As a practitioner and scholarat........

© The Conversation

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