Some of the most serious chronic conditions in the U.S.—such as heart disease, cancer, HIV, diabetes, and stroke—are more common or severe for minorities. Check out three things you may not know this National Minority Health Month:
1. Minorities are much more likely to be living with common chronic conditions.
African Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Asians, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders are at higher risk for illness, disability, and death related to common chronic conditions. For instance, non-Hispanic blacks are 40 percent more likely than non-Hispanic whites to have high blood pressure, and they are less likely to have this condition under control. The rate of diagnosed diabetes is 77 percent higher among non-Hispanic blacks, 66 percent higher among Hispanics, and 18 percent higher among Asians than among non-Hispanic whites.
2. Economic and social factors play a huge role in health equity.
Factors such as discrimination, unstable housing, food insecurity, and unemployment have a major impact on health disparities.
A person’s health is directly affected by the availability of and access to a wide range of resources such as:
• Quality health care
• Health insurance
• Secure housing
• Affordable, reliable public transportation
• High-quality education
• Nutritious food
• Culturally sensitive health care providers
3. HIV/AIDS continues to disproportionately affect minorities.
Communities of color and the LGBTQ community continue to be underserved and disproportionately impacted by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. In 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hispanics/Latinos accounted for about one quarter of all diagnoses of HIV in the U.S., despite representing about 18 percent of the total U.S. population. African Americans accounted for 44 percent of new HIV diagnoses, though they comprise 12 percent of the U.S. population.
As the largest Medicaid Special Needs Health Plan (SNP) in New York City, Amida Care has been at the forefront of providing comprehensive health coverage and coordinated care for people living with chronic conditions, including HIV/AIDS. Amida Care advocates for policies and initiatives that support health and social justice for the populations we serve.
Helpful resources include:
• New York State Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities Prevention
• U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Amida Care currently serves 6,700+ members throughout the five boroughs of New York City, including people living with HIV/AIDS; people of transgender experience, regardless of HIV status, and people who are experiencing homelessness, regardless of HIV status. Please contact us at 1-855-GO-AMIDA for more information.