Disentangling race and socioeconomic status: a key to understanding health inequalities

J Urban Health. 2005 Jun;82(2 Suppl 3):iii26-34. doi: 10.1093/jurban/jti061.


This article addresses one of the most vexing problems facing health disparities researchers, the confounding of race and socioeconomic status. This article does the following: (1) it outlines the magnitude of confounding between race and socioeconomic status; (2) it demonstrates problems caused by this confounding; (3) it examines the degree to which race disparities are a function of socioeconomic status; and (4) it discusses considerations for advancing research on health disparities after accounting for the confounding of race and socioeconomic status.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Confounding Factors, Epidemiologic
  • Ethnicity / classification
  • Ethnicity / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Humans
  • Income*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Poverty
  • Racial Groups / classification
  • Racial Groups / statistics & numerical data*
  • Research Design*
  • Social Class*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States / epidemiology