January 2, 2019

Report highlights CT's racial health disparities

HBJ File Photo
HBJ File Photo

A new report says major health disparities exist among boys and men of color compared to non-Hispanic white men and boys in Connecticut.

The inaugural 2018 Connecticut Report Card on Health Equity Among Boys and Men of Color by the UConn Health Disparities Institute (HDI) says Hispanic and African-American men in the state were 3.6 times and 1.9 times, respectively, more likely to lack health insurance than white men.

Nationally, almost 50 percent of men ages 18 to 34 were covered by private or public insurance. Of that, about 40 percent of Hispanic/Latino men and 41 percent of American Indians/Alaska Natives were covered by insurance, the report said.

HDI said insured rates and health outcomes are greatly influenced by factors such as income levels, educational attainment, employment, access to transportation, housing, incarceration rates and fatherhood.

HDI hopes that shining a light on Connecticut's health inequity for policymakers, researchers, and funders could help reduce health disparities among the state's medically underserved populations, said HDI Director Dr. Wizdom Powell.

According to the report, an average of more than 30 percent of Hispanic men and over 16 percent of African-American men were uninsured in Connecticut from 2011 to 2015, while 9 percent of white men were uninsured.

Twice as many American Indians/Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islander men in Connecticut did not receive an annual health checkup compared to African-American men. Meantime, fewer Hispanic and Asian men had updated blood pressure screenings than white men.

In 2016, 14 percent of Hispanic and white boys under 18 years old were tested for HIV, which is almost three times below the "Healthy People 2020" goal for adolescents and adults between ages 15 and 44.

Nearly two times more African-American and Hispanic men than white men were tested for HIV.

From 2011 to 2015, African-American, Hispanic and white men were two times more likely to be diagnosed with colon and lung cancers, compared to Asian and Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islander men. The latter were also three times less likely to contract prostate cancer.

And while boys and men are less likely than women and girls to report depression, males have higher rates of suicide and drug-related deaths, the report found.

African-American men in Connecticut were less likely to be told by a healthcare professional they have a depressive disorder, compared to both Hispanic and white men. However, more than three times more white men have died due to reported suicides in Connecticut, the report said.

For life expectancy in 2014, the most recent year for which data is available, African-American men lived 4.2 fewer years (74.7) than white men (78.9), and Hispanic men lived a half year longer (79.5 years) than white men.

DOWNLOAD PDFs

View HDI's report here

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