Racial/ethnic disparities in health and health care among U.S. adolescents

Health Serv Res. 2012 Oct;47(5):2031-59. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-6773.2012.01394.x. Epub 2012 Mar 14.

Abstract

Objective: To examine racial/ethnic disparities in medical and oral health status, access to care, and use of services in U.S. adolescents.

Data source: Secondary data analysis of the 2003 National Survey of Children's Health. The survey focus was children 0-17 years old.

Study design: Bivariate and multivariable analyses were conducted for white, African American, Latino, Asian/Pacific Islander, American Indian/Alaskan Native, and multiracial adolescents 10-17 years old (n = 48,742) to identify disparities in 40 measures of health and health care.

Principal findings: Certain disparities were especially marked for specific racial/ethnic groups and multiracial youth. These disparities included suboptimal health status and lack of a personal doctor or nurse for Latinos; suboptimal oral health and not receiving all needed medications in the past year for African Americans; no physician visit or mental health care in the past year for Asian/Pacific Islanders; overweight/obesity, uninsurance, problems getting specialty care, and no routine preventive visit in the past year for American Indian/Alaska Natives; and not receiving all needed dental care in multiracial youth.

Conclusions: U.S. adolescents experience many racial/ethnic disparities in health and health care. These findings indicate a need for ongoing identification and monitoring of and interventions for disparities for all five major racial/ethnic groups and multiracial adolescents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • African Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
  • Asian Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Child
  • Continental Population Groups / statistics & numerical data*
  • Ethnic Groups / statistics & numerical data*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Services Accessibility / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Healthcare Disparities / statistics & numerical data*
  • Hispanic Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American / statistics & numerical data
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Oral Health / statistics & numerical data
  • United States / epidemiology