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What Disease Hits Black Men Most?

Disparities in Healthcare AccessA new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that in almost every state men of color continue to fare worse than white men on a variety of measures of health, healthcare access and other social determinants of health.

The report, Putting Men’s Health Care Disparities On The Map: Examining Racial and Ethnic Disparities at the State Level, documents the persistence of disparities between white men and men of color—and among different groups within men of color—on 22 indicators of health and well-being, including rates of diseases such as AIDS, cancer, heart disease and diabetes, as well as insurance coverage and health screenings. It also documents disparities in factors that influence health and access to care such as income and education.

This new analysis provides state-level data for men of many racial and ethnic populations that have not been available before. Among the findings:

  • American Indian and Alaska native men had higher rates of health and access problems than men in other racial and ethnic groups on nearly all health indicators. They also had the highest poverty rate and second worst educational attainment, unemployment rate and incarceration rate.
  • More than four in 10 Latino men lacked insurance (46 percent) and a personal health care provider (49 percent), and more than a fifth (22 percent) had no doctor visit in the previous year due to cost. Latino men also had the lowest median household income, the largest wage gap compared to white men and the lowest educational status.
  • Black men had much higher rates of poverty and incarceration and lower rates of high school graduation than whites. The most striking health disparity was that nationally Black men were more than seven times as likely as white men to be newly diagnosed with AIDS, with a rate of 101.5 new AIDS cases per 100,000 Blacks ages 13 and older compared with 13.5 new cases per 100,000 whites. The disparity was even larger in some states, such as Nebraska,Pennsylvania, and Maryland, where the rate of new AIDS cases was more than 10 times as high among black men compared to whites.
  • Nationally, Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander men had the lowest rate of health problems and the fewest barriers to access of all subgroups of men, even white men.
  • While white men fared better than minority men on most access and social indicators, they had higher rates of some health problems than men of color, such as higher rates of smoking and binge drinking. For example, inWisconsin35 percent of white men reported binge drinking compared with 20 percent of minority men.
  • Some of the states with the greatest access disparities between white and minority men included Connecticut, Maine, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Washington, D.C., all of which also exhibited some of the greatest disparities in income between white and minority men. Several states with relatively large Native American populations—Arizona,North Dakota and South Dakota—also had large disparities in access between white and minority men.

The full report, including detailed state-by-state data tables and related fact sheets, is available online.

A companion report released in 2009 examines similar racial and ethnic disparities among women, and includes state fact sheets and interactive data tables, also is available.

For more on decreasing disparities in healthcare, watch the video below on WellPoint’s innovative Community Ambassador Program:

For closed captioning, press the “CC” icon in the YouTube player.

Also read:

Eliminating Healthcare Disparities: How Kaiser Permanente & Trinity Health Close Racial Gaps

The Business Case for Diversity in Healthcare

Can Culturally Competent Healthcare Close Disparities Gaps?



  • Covinlyn Reed

    When I reviewed the report (attached to the article) there was a much larger disparity between White men and Hispanic men, however as usual in the good ole’ USA, it’s a White vs. Black issue, with Blacks coming out on the loosing in. Why not compare the White vs. Asian? Because then the White men would be on the loosing end. Based on this report of course.

    • In response to Ms. Covinlyn Reed’s comment –
      First of all I do clearly understand and at one level, i agree. However – Why not just end ALL health care disparities instead of comparing any race to any other – and then AmeriKKKa could truly be the Great Country it always has the POTENTIAL to be but never quite lives up to …. for example, the “so called” greatest civilized country in the world has the highest incarceration of Black & Latino Men and the lowest graduation (high school & college) of all civilized (whatever that means) rate of Black & Latino Men. No Coincidence, no accident.

  • After all, it is a white man’s world. When the household income is lowest among blacks and Hispanics, and one of every five children in the US, score less than average in school, it’s no wonder there is such a disparity. It’s not just a health care issue. This nation needs to get its act together. (info. from NPR public radio & US Census Bureau Income, Poverty and Health Insurance 2011)

  • After all, it is a white man’s world! The household income is lowest among blacks and Hispanics, and when one of every five children in the US score less than average in school, it’s no wonder there is such a disparity. It’s not just a health care issue, and it should concern everyone of every race. This nation needs to get its act together! (info. from NPR public radio & US Census Bureau Income, Poverty and Health Insurance 2011)

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