Health Disparities

Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is a condition of total health wherein all the three elements of health are present and appropriate. A number of definitions have also been used over the years for different purposes. One of them is the National Health Information Center’s definition of health, which states that health is a condition that is maintained by the body with a balance of physiological, psychological, and behavioral elements. In other words, health is a state in which you are free from diseases and in which your body functions at its optimum level.


The disparity in health care between groups of people of color and other underserved groups is a significant cause for alarm, especially considering the numbers of people who are affected by these disparities. Although health is one of the most important aspects of life, it is often the least considered. As a result, many people do not pay attention to their health, or they fail to practice healthy behaviors for prevention or treatment. There are many reasons why there are health disparities, such as a lack of access to health services or a higher incidence of diseases in certain groups or communities. There are also sociological and environmental factors that contribute to health disparities.

The disproportionate number of deaths in black men and women of childbearing age, the gaps in life expectancy between people of different races, the disproportionate number of people dying from AIDS and other diseases, and the lack of physical health and wellness are some of the causes for alarm. Although there are no absolute solutions, some areas of the country are making great strides in improving the health of their residents. Some cities like Jackson, MS, and Washington, DC, for example, have made huge strides in the area of health and wellness. There are also cities like Tucson, Arizona, and Jackson, MS; where residents live in a state of health equity, with health disparity ranging from poor to excellent.

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