Finding synergy: reducing disparities in health by modifying multiple determinants

Am J Public Health. 2010 Apr 1;100 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S25-30. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2009.166389. Epub 2010 Feb 10.


Although researchers acknowledge that health disparities have multiple determinants, most recommendations for reducing inequities focus on a single approach. We suggest integrating 2 approaches for reducing disparities: improving access to primary care and updating and more vigorously enforcing consumer and environmental protection laws. This strategy could reduce the main causes of disparities, such as chronic diseases and injuries; win public and policymaker support; and provide a cost-effective start for achieving equity. Most of the scientific knowledge needed to implement this strategy exists, thus years of additional research would not be needed. Developing targeted regulatory and health care policies to reduce deaths from chronic diseases and injuries would be a major step forward in eliminating health disparities in the United States.

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease / prevention & control
  • Conservation of Natural Resources / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Humans
  • Law Enforcement*
  • Policy Making
  • United States
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control