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Center For Health Disparities Research

What is a Health Disparity

Health disparities are characterized by the disproportionate burden of poor health status and premature mortality in the United States (Atrash & Hunter). A health disparity is defined by the National Institutes of Health as "the differences in incidence, prevalence, mortality, and burden of disease and other adverse health conditions that exist among specific population groups in the United States" (NIH). 

Atrash H, and Hunter M. Health Disparities in the United States: A continuing challenge. 2005.

National Institutes of Health. Addressing Health Disparities: The NIH Program of Action. What are health disparities?


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