Health disparities is a broad term that encompasses two categories—health status disparities and health care disparities. Health status disparities refer to differences in health status (i.e., morbidity, mortality, functional status, or disability) among specific populations. In contrast, health care disparities refer to differences in the access, utilization, quality, or outcomes of health care services among specific populations. The distinction between health status and health care disparities may seem pedantic, but in fact this distinction is crucial because the causes and, consequently, the solutions for elimination of health status and health care disparities are likely different. In addition, health care disparities may be a contributing factor to health status disparities.

Health Status Disparities

The term health disparities is widely used in the United States and is similar ...

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