Relative Roles of Race Versus Socioeconomic Position in Studies of Health Inequalities

A Matter of Interpretation

Amani M. Nuru-Jeter, Elizabeth K. Michaels, Marilyn D. Thomas, Alexis N. Reeves, Roland J Thorpe, Thomas A. LaVeist

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

An abundance of research has documented health inequalities by race and socioeconomic position (SEP) in the United States. However, conceptual and methodological challenges complicate the interpretation of study findings, thereby limiting progress in understanding health inequalities and in achieving health equity. Fundamental to these challenges is a lack of clarity about what race is and the implications of that ambiguity for scientific inquiry. Additionally, there is wide variability in how SEP is conceptualized and measured, resulting in a lack of comparability across studies and significant misclassification of risk. The objectives of this review are to synthesize the literature regarding common approaches to examining race and SEP health inequalities and to discuss the conceptual and methodological challenges associated with how race and SEP have been employed in public health research. Addressing health inequalities has become increasingly important as the United States trends toward becoming a majority-minority nation. Recommendations for future research are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-188
Number of pages20
JournalAnnual Review of Public Health
Volume39
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018

Fingerprint

Health
Research
Public Health
Health Equity

Keywords

  • health inequalities
  • race
  • social determinants of health
  • social epidemiology
  • socioeconomic position
  • socioeconomic status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Relative Roles of Race Versus Socioeconomic Position in Studies of Health Inequalities : A Matter of Interpretation. / Nuru-Jeter, Amani M.; Michaels, Elizabeth K.; Thomas, Marilyn D.; Reeves, Alexis N.; Thorpe, Roland J; LaVeist, Thomas A.

In: Annual Review of Public Health, Vol. 39, 01.04.2018, p. 169-188.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Nuru-Jeter, Amani M. ; Michaels, Elizabeth K. ; Thomas, Marilyn D. ; Reeves, Alexis N. ; Thorpe, Roland J ; LaVeist, Thomas A. / Relative Roles of Race Versus Socioeconomic Position in Studies of Health Inequalities : A Matter of Interpretation. In: Annual Review of Public Health. 2018 ; Vol. 39. pp. 169-188.
@article{50cb633d80e342fa893c8dc5ffee0f9b,
title = "Relative Roles of Race Versus Socioeconomic Position in Studies of Health Inequalities: A Matter of Interpretation",
abstract = "An abundance of research has documented health inequalities by race and socioeconomic position (SEP) in the United States. However, conceptual and methodological challenges complicate the interpretation of study findings, thereby limiting progress in understanding health inequalities and in achieving health equity. Fundamental to these challenges is a lack of clarity about what race is and the implications of that ambiguity for scientific inquiry. Additionally, there is wide variability in how SEP is conceptualized and measured, resulting in a lack of comparability across studies and significant misclassification of risk. The objectives of this review are to synthesize the literature regarding common approaches to examining race and SEP health inequalities and to discuss the conceptual and methodological challenges associated with how race and SEP have been employed in public health research. Addressing health inequalities has become increasingly important as the United States trends toward becoming a majority-minority nation. Recommendations for future research are presented.",
keywords = "health inequalities, race, social determinants of health, social epidemiology, socioeconomic position, socioeconomic status",
author = "Nuru-Jeter, {Amani M.} and Michaels, {Elizabeth K.} and Thomas, {Marilyn D.} and Reeves, {Alexis N.} and Thorpe, {Roland J} and LaVeist, {Thomas A.}",
year = "2018",
month = "4",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1146/annurev-publhealth-040617-014230",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "39",
pages = "169--188",
journal = "Annual Review of Public Health",
issn = "0163-7525",
publisher = "Annual Reviews Inc.",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Relative Roles of Race Versus Socioeconomic Position in Studies of Health Inequalities

T2 - A Matter of Interpretation

AU - Nuru-Jeter, Amani M.

AU - Michaels, Elizabeth K.

AU - Thomas, Marilyn D.

AU - Reeves, Alexis N.

AU - Thorpe, Roland J

AU - LaVeist, Thomas A.

PY - 2018/4/1

Y1 - 2018/4/1

N2 - An abundance of research has documented health inequalities by race and socioeconomic position (SEP) in the United States. However, conceptual and methodological challenges complicate the interpretation of study findings, thereby limiting progress in understanding health inequalities and in achieving health equity. Fundamental to these challenges is a lack of clarity about what race is and the implications of that ambiguity for scientific inquiry. Additionally, there is wide variability in how SEP is conceptualized and measured, resulting in a lack of comparability across studies and significant misclassification of risk. The objectives of this review are to synthesize the literature regarding common approaches to examining race and SEP health inequalities and to discuss the conceptual and methodological challenges associated with how race and SEP have been employed in public health research. Addressing health inequalities has become increasingly important as the United States trends toward becoming a majority-minority nation. Recommendations for future research are presented.

AB - An abundance of research has documented health inequalities by race and socioeconomic position (SEP) in the United States. However, conceptual and methodological challenges complicate the interpretation of study findings, thereby limiting progress in understanding health inequalities and in achieving health equity. Fundamental to these challenges is a lack of clarity about what race is and the implications of that ambiguity for scientific inquiry. Additionally, there is wide variability in how SEP is conceptualized and measured, resulting in a lack of comparability across studies and significant misclassification of risk. The objectives of this review are to synthesize the literature regarding common approaches to examining race and SEP health inequalities and to discuss the conceptual and methodological challenges associated with how race and SEP have been employed in public health research. Addressing health inequalities has become increasingly important as the United States trends toward becoming a majority-minority nation. Recommendations for future research are presented.

KW - health inequalities

KW - race

KW - social determinants of health

KW - social epidemiology

KW - socioeconomic position

KW - socioeconomic status

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85044851608&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85044851608&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1146/annurev-publhealth-040617-014230

DO - 10.1146/annurev-publhealth-040617-014230

M3 - Review article

VL - 39

SP - 169

EP - 188

JO - Annual Review of Public Health

JF - Annual Review of Public Health

SN - 0163-7525

ER -