The health impact of resolving racial disparities: an analysis of US mortality data

Am J Public Health. 2004 Dec;94(12):2078-81. doi: 10.2105/ajph.94.12.2078.


The US health system spends far more on the "technology" of care (e.g., drugs, devices) than on achieving equity in its delivery. For 1991 to 2000, we contrasted the number of lives saved by medical advances with the number of deaths attributable to excess mortality among African Americans. Medical advances averted 176,633 deaths, but equalizing the mortality rates of Whites and African Americans would have averted 886,202 deaths. Achieving equity may do more for health than perfecting the technology of care.

MeSH terms

  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Biomedical Technology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mortality*
  • United States / epidemiology