Large health gaps found among black, Latino, and white fifth-graders
Substantial racial and ethnic disparities were found for a broad set of harmful health-related issues in a new study of 5th graders from various regions of the U.S. conducted by Boston Children's Hospital and a consortium of research institutions. Black and Latino children were more likely than white children to report everything from witnessing violence to engaging in less exercise to riding in cars without wearing seatbelts. At the same time, the study found that children of all races and ethnicities did better on these health indicators if they had more highly-educated parents with higher income or had the advantages of attending certain schools. Although white children were more likely to have these advantages than black or Latino children, when children with similar advantages were compared, racial and ethnic differences for most health indicators were smaller or even absent.
The study is the most ambitious effort to date to investigate the potential drivers of racial and ethnic health disparities among preadolescents. Results emphasize the key role that schools and family income and education may play in health disparities. Mark A. Schuster, MD, Ph.D., Chief of General Pediatrics at Boston Children's Hospital and William Berenberg Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, led a research team that conducted the study. Between 2004 and 2006, they interviewed about five thousand 10- and 11-year-olds and their parents, in and around Birmingham, AL, Houston, TX, and Los Angeles, CA. Findings were published in the August 23 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
"We found wide gaps between black and white children and between Latino and white children, in 5th grade," says Dr. Schuster, who began the research while at the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research organization. "When we delved deeper, we found that factors like the child's school, household income, and parents' education were strongly related to children's health. When these key factors are taken into account, differences related to race and ethnicity are not as large. But substantial differences remain, particularly between black and white children. More work is needed to identify what is causing these disparities, so that we can find ways to improve all children's health."
The researchers examined 16 important health-related measures. Some key disparities included:
- Black children were four times more likely and Latino children were two times more likely than white children to see a threat or injury with a gun.
- Black children were more likely to smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol than Latino and white children.
- Rates of obesity were nearly twice as high among black and Latino children, who also reported less vigorous exercise than white children.
- Black and Latino children were much more likely to report worse overall state of health.
- Black and Latino children were significantly more likely to experience discrimination (because of a wide variety of characteristics, like race and ethnicity, weight, and income).
- Black and Latino children were less likely than white children to wear a seatbelt or a bike helmet.
- Black children reported higher levels of being victimized by peers than Latino and white children.
"Significant disparities in behaviors and experiences that raise health concerns are already present during elementary school," says Schuster. "We should be thinking about these issues when children are young enough to prevent bad outcomes before they occur. Our research suggests that schools may be a key leverage point for addressing gaps among different racial and ethnic groups. We need to figure out what we can learn from the schools that are doing better, even when they're in similar communities to schools that are not doing as well. Is it a visionary principal, committed teachers, a strong commitment to health education, an engaged PTA? We need to learn more."
Journal reference: New England Journal of Medicine
Provided by Boston Children's Hospital
- Study finds racial, ethnic disparities in family-centered care for kids with special health needs May 19, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Racial disparities in asthma exist even among children with equal access to health care Jun 07, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Racial wealth gap with young children widening, report finds Apr 08, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Mental health care disparities persist for black and latino children Jun 22, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Missed sleep may contribute to asthma morbidity Jul 17, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
(HealthDay)—Implementation of systematic monitoring for medication adherence will allow for identification of barriers to adherence and tailoring of interventions, according to a viewpoint piece published ...
Health 35 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(AP)—The Obama administration says more doctors and hospitals are embracing technology as adoption of computerized medical records reaches a "tipping point" in America.
Health 1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
Johns Hopkins researchers report that hospitals may be reaping enormous income for patients whose hospital stays are complicated by preventable bloodstream infections contracted in their intensive care units.
Health 2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
A University of Illinois researcher says that the cornerstone of our efforts to alleviate food insecurity should be to encourage more people to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) "because ...
Health 2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
A new study suggests that disturbed sleep in adolescents is associated with more symptoms of depression and greater uncertainly about future success. However, perceived support and acceptance from parents and teachers appears ...
Health 4 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—The American Cancer Society, which is celebrating on Wednesday a century of fighting a disease once viewed as a death sentence, is making a pledge to put itself out of business.
35 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) investigators also conclude that the 20 percent reduction in lung cancer mortality with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) versus chest X-ray (CXR) screening previously reported in the ...
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—Migraines and depression can each cause a great deal of suffering, but new research indicates the combination of the two may be linked to something else entirely—a smaller brain.
1 hour ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Every day, their baby stopped breathing, his collapsed bronchus blocking the crucial flow of air to his lungs. April and Bryan Gionfriddo watched helplessly, just praying that somehow the dire predictions ...
1 hour ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
As the world prepares for what may be the next pandemic strain of influenza virus, in the H7N9 bird flu, a new UC Irvine study reveals that the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic was deadliest for people under the age of 65, while ...
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0