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U.S. Racial Health Disparities Among Older Adults Remain Despite Some Progress

Population Reference Bureau
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U.S. Racial Health Disparities Among Older Adults Remain Despite Some Progress

In this Population Reference Bureau article, you'll learn about:

  • Factors contributing to racial health disparities in the US

" Black adults may be less likely to have accessible home environments. For example, a decline in the share of white adults who have trouble bathing may reflect better physical function or an increase in the availability of walk-in showers in white households. "

  • Older adult health trends of concern

" Using Health and Retirement Study data, they examine changes in health risks for diabetes, heart disease, and stroke measured by multiple cardiovascular and metabolic biomarkers. The researchers find that older Black adults began the study with a higher number of risk factors than older white and Hispanic adults, and their risk increased over four years, driven by increases in pulse pressure (a measure of stiffening arteries) and blood glucose (an indicator of diabetes). than older white and Hispanic adults, and their risk increased over four years, driven by increases in pulse pressure (a measure of stiffening arteries) and blood glucose (an indicator of diabetes). Using Health and Retirement Study data, they examine changes in health risks for diabetes, heart disease, and stroke measured by multiple cardiovascular and metabolic biomarkers. The researchers find that older Black adults began the study with a higher number of risk factors than older white and Hispanic adults, and their risk increased over four years, driven by increases in pulse pressure (a measure of stiffening arteries) and blood glucose (an indicator of diabetes)."

  • Improvements that can aid in reducing health disparities

" Improved diagnosis and treatment of high blood pressure and high cholesterol reduced racial disparities in cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk between 1990 and 2010, Mitchell and colleagues show.3 The racial gap in CVD risk narrowed for women because of improved blood pressure and lipid profiles among Black women and increasing obesity prevalence among white women. "


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