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Health Disparities, Health Literacy, Health Numeracy  

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Health Disparities

The most concise and accessible definition of health disparities/inequalities/equity was articulated by Margaret Whitehead in the early 1990s as differences in health that “are not only unnecessary and avoidable but, in addition, are considered unfair and unjust.” She wrote: “Equity in health implies that ideally everyone should have a fair opportunity to attain their full health potential and, more pragmatically, that no one should be disadvantaged from achieving this potential, if it can be avoided". She defined equity in health care “as equal access to available care for equal need, equal utilization for equal need, equal quality of care for all”. -from HEALTH DISPARITIES AND HEALTH EQUITY: Concepts and Measurement Annual Review of Public Health Vol. 27: 167-194 (Volume publication date April 2006)

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Each year since 2003, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has reported on progress and opportunities for improving health care quality and reducing health care disparities. As mandated by the U.S. Congress, the National Healthcare Quality Report (NHQR) focuses on “national trends in the quality of health care provided to the American people” (42 U.S.C. 299b-2(b)(2)) while the National Healthcare Disparities Report (NHDR) focuses on “prevailing disparities in health care delivery as it relates to racial factors and socioeconomic factors in priority populations” (42 U.S.C. 299a-1(a)(6)). -Highlights From the 2011 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

National Institutes of Health

U.S. Government entities Web Resources

Additional Resources

Articles and abstracts

  • Anthropology Plus
    Search term 'Health Disparities'
  • Anthrosource
    Results of search for 'health disparities' from UMass Amherst Library database Anthrosource
  • PubMed abstract
    Health disparities and health equity: concepts and measurement.
  • PubMed Central
    Toward a Fourth Generation of Disparities Research to Achieve Health Equity
  • PubMed Central
    Health disparities among highly vulnerable populations in the United States: a call to action for medical and oral health care
  • PubMed Central
    Search term "Health Disparities"
  • Transforming Anthropology
    Diversifying the dialog post-Katrina - Race, Place, and Displacement in New Orleans, U.S.A.

Subject Guide

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John Caranci

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