What Is a Health Disparity?


The CDC defines a health disparity as a preventable difference in the burden of disease, injury and violence (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018). In addition, disparities are involved with access to adequate health care due to social status, gender or race/ethnicity (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018). Health disparities can also be defined as differences in incidence, prevalence, mortality and disease burden that exist amongst different populations in the United States (American Psychological Association, 2018). The American Psychological Association also identifies health disparities as a difference in health outcomes as a result of unnecessary and avoidable issues due to social and economic status (American Psychological Association, 2018).

There are many health disparities in the United States. A few examples of prominent health disparities present today include: cardiovascular disease, cancer rates, HIV/AIDs, and health education (National Institute of Health, 2018). It is important to address these health disparities because of the fact that they are preventable. Improving the disparity in health outcomes will enable increased population and individual health outcomes.