US Socioeconomic and Racial Differences in Health: Patterns and Explanations

US Socioeconomic and Racial Differences in Health: Patterns and Explanations This chapter reviews recent studies of socioeconomic status (SES) and racial differences in health. It traces patterns of the social distribution of disease over time and describes the evidence for both a widening SES differential in health status and an increasing racial gap in health between blacks and whites due, in part, to the worsening health status of the African American population. We also describe variations in health status within and between other racial populations. The interactions between SES and race are examined, and we explore the link between health inequalities and socioeconomic inequality both by examining the nature of the SES gradient and by identifying the determinants of the magnitude of SES disparities over time. We consider the ways in which major social structures and processes such as racism, acculturation, work, migration, and childhood SES produce inequalities in health. We also attend to the ways in which other intervening factors and resources are constrained by social structure. Measurement issues are addressed, and implications for health policy and future research are described. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Annual Review of Sociology Annual Reviews

US Socioeconomic and Racial Differences in Health: Patterns and Explanations

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Publisher
Annual Reviews
Copyright
Copyright 1995 Annual Reviews. All rights reserved
Subject
Review Articles
ISSN
0360-0572
eISSN
1545-2115
D.O.I.
10.1146/annurev.so.21.080195.002025
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This chapter reviews recent studies of socioeconomic status (SES) and racial differences in health. It traces patterns of the social distribution of disease over time and describes the evidence for both a widening SES differential in health status and an increasing racial gap in health between blacks and whites due, in part, to the worsening health status of the African American population. We also describe variations in health status within and between other racial populations. The interactions between SES and race are examined, and we explore the link between health inequalities and socioeconomic inequality both by examining the nature of the SES gradient and by identifying the determinants of the magnitude of SES disparities over time. We consider the ways in which major social structures and processes such as racism, acculturation, work, migration, and childhood SES produce inequalities in health. We also attend to the ways in which other intervening factors and resources are constrained by social structure. Measurement issues are addressed, and implications for health policy and future research are described.

Journal

Annual Review of SociologyAnnual Reviews

Published: Aug 1, 1995

Keywords: socioeconomic status; social class; race; health; racism

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