The Role of Social Context in Racial Disparities in Self-Rated Health

Caryn N. Bell, Roland J Thorpe, Thomas A. LaVeist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Race disparities in self-rated health in the USA are well-documented, such that African Americans rate their health more poorly than whites. However, after adjusting for health status, socioeconomic status (SES), and health behaviors, residual race differences are observed. This suggests the importance of unmeasured variables. Because African Americans and whites tend to live in differing social contexts, it is possible that accounting for social and environmental conditions may reduce racial disparities in self-rated health. Differences in self-rated health among whites and African Americans were assessed in a low-income, urban integrated community (Exploring Health Disparities in Integrated Communities (EHDIC)) and compared with a national sample (National Health Interview Survey (NHIS)). Controlling for demographics, SES, health insurance, status, and behaviors, African Americans in NHIS had higher odds of reporting fair or poor health (odds ratio [OR] = 1.40, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.18–1.66) than whites. In EHDIC, there was no race difference in self-rated health (OR = 0.83, 95% CI = 0.63–1.11). These results demonstrate the importance of social context in understanding race disparities in self-rated health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Urban Health
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Dec 4 2017

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Health
health
African Americans
Health Surveys
Social Class
Health Status
Odds Ratio
Confidence Intervals
Interviews
social status
confidence
Insurance Coverage
Social Conditions
Health Behavior
community
Health Insurance
interview
health behavior
health insurance
health status

Keywords

  • Race
  • Self-rated health
  • Social context

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

The Role of Social Context in Racial Disparities in Self-Rated Health. / Bell, Caryn N.; Thorpe, Roland J; LaVeist, Thomas A.

In: Journal of Urban Health, 04.12.2017, p. 1-8.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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