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Update on the Health Disparities Literature

Judith A. Long, MD; Virginia W. Chang, MD, PhD; Said A. Ibrahim, MD, MPH; and David A. Asch, MD
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From the Veterans Affairs Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Veterans Affairs Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Note: Drs. Chang and Ibrahim contributed equally to this article.

Acknowledgment: The authors thank Hannah Shacter for her time and assistance with this manuscript.

Grant Support: Drs. Long and Ibrahim are supported by Veterans Adminstration Health Services Research & Development Career Development Awards. Dr. Ibrahim is also a recipient of the Harold Amos Fellowship Award from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Dr. Chang is supported by a Career Development Award (5-K12-HD-0435901) from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.

Requests for Single Reprints: Judith A. Long, MD, Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center, University and Woodland Avenues, Philadelphia, PA 19104; e-mail, jalong@mail.med.upenn.edu.

Current Author Address: Drs. Long and Asch: Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center, University and Woodland Avenues, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

Dr. Chang: 1233 Blockley Hall, 423 Guardian Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6021.

Dr. Ibrahim: Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System, University Drive C, MB28 Pittsburgh, PA 15240.

Ann Intern Med. 2004;141(10):805-812. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-141-10-200411160-00013
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Health and health care are distributed unevenly in the United States, and under-represented minorities are likely to get less of both. In 2002, the Institute of Medicine published an authoritative research and policy document on this matter. Since release of that report, hundreds of publications have addressed racial or ethnic disparities in health and health care. This Update focuses on the literature from 2002 and 2003 addressing the lack of equity in adult health and health care in the United States.

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Update in Health Disparities
Posted on November 16, 2004
David S. Trochtenberg
Meharry Medical College
Conflict of Interest: None Declared

I am currently performing research in health disparities as related to asthma. Asthma was not mentioned in any of the articles you reviewed, and in particular was not noted to be a cause of excess death in the article by Wong (NEJM 2002). Did you not identify any convincing articles on this subject, or do you believe that disparities don't exist for asthma? I did notice that none of the journals you reviewed were pulmonary related.

Conflict of Interest:

None declared

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