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Constructs > Construct Information
Health disparity/inequality
General Information
Construct Name: Health disparity/inequality
Definition of Construct: "A health disparity/inequality is a particular type of difference in health (or in the most important influences on health that could potentially be shaped by policies); it is a difference in which disadvantaged social groups—such as the poor, racial/ethnic minorities, women, or other groups who have persistently experienced social disadvantage or discrimination—systematically experience worse health or greater health risks than more advantaged social groups. "Social advantage” refers to one’s relative position in a social hierarchy determined by wealth, power, and/or prestige.) Health disparities/inequalities include differences between the most advantaged group in a given category—e.g., the wealthiest, the most powerful racial/ethnic group—and all others, not only between the best- and worst-off groups. Pursuing health equity means pursuing the elimination of such health disparities/inequalities."(p. 167 ref#1)

"Based on the proposed definition, measuring a health disparity requires three basic components: (a) an indicator of health or a modifiable determinant of health, such
as health care, living conditions, or the policies that shape them; (b) an indicator of social position, i.e., a way of categorizing people into different groups (social
strata) based on social advantage/disadvantage, such as income, education, ethnic group, or gender; and (c) a method for comparing the health (or health determinant)
indicator across the different social strata, such as a ratio of the rates of the health indicator in the least and most advantaged strata." (p. 187 ref #1)
Related Content Area(s):
  • Methods
Theoretical Foundation:
Similar Constructs:
Keywords: health disparity, health equity, health inequality, GEM-DI
Related measures

(Last Updated: 4/12/2012 1:06:53 PM by Borsika Rabin)


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