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About Health Disparities

Despite notable improvements in the overall health of the Nation in the last two decades, there continues to be striking disparities in the burden of illness and death, experienced by African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, American Indian and Alaska Natives, Asian and Pacific Islanders. A disease-specific example of racial and ethnic disparities in the United States is a higher rate of cardiovascular disease in these populations. In addition, adult African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans have approximately twice the risk as Whites of developing diabetes.

Compelling evidence shows that disparities persist in nearly every aspect of health, including quality of health care, access to care, utilization of health care, and health outcomes. These disparities are said to be the result of the complex interaction among genetic variations, environmental factors, and specific health behaviors. Disparities in health care exist even when controlling for gender, condition, age, and socio-economic status.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) is addressing these health disparities through its multicultural education resources to support heart health interventions in these ethnically diverse groups.

The Institute's ethnic-specific training and education tools and materials, while uniquely addressing the culture of each group, promote heart healthy behaviors and lifestyles, such as eating healthy and engaging in physical activity.

This Web site provides resources to help you initiate and expand a heart health program to support the needs of your community. Through your efforts we hope that ethnic diverse groups will engage in daily activities to reduce the risk of disease, and to enjoy a healthier life for themselves and their families.


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