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Health Disparities in the United States

Social Class, Race, Ethnicity, and the Social Determinants of Health

Donald A. Barr, MD, PhD

third edition
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Challenging students to think critically about the complex web of social forces that leads to health disparities in the United States.

The health care system in the United States has been called the best in the world. Yet wide disparities persist between social groups, and many Americans suffer from poorer health than people in other developed countries. In this revised edition of Health Disparities in the United States, Donald A. Barr provides extensive new data about the ways low socioeconomic status, race, and ethnicity interact to create and perpetuate these health disparities. Examining...

Challenging students to think critically about the complex web of social forces that leads to health disparities in the United States.

The health care system in the United States has been called the best in the world. Yet wide disparities persist between social groups, and many Americans suffer from poorer health than people in other developed countries. In this revised edition of Health Disparities in the United States, Donald A. Barr provides extensive new data about the ways low socioeconomic status, race, and ethnicity interact to create and perpetuate these health disparities. Examining the significance of this gulf for the medical community and society at large, Barr offers potential policy- and physician-based solutions for reducing health inequity in the long term.

This thoroughly updated edition focuses on a new challenge the United States last experienced more than half a century ago: successive years of declining life expectancy. Barr addresses the causes of this decline, including what are commonly referred to as "deaths of despair"—from opiate overdose or suicide. Exploring the growing role geography plays in health disparities, Barr asks why people living in rural areas suffer the greatest increases in these deaths. He also analyzes recent changes under the Affordable Care Act and considers the literature on how race and ethnicity affect the way health care providers evaluate and treat patients.

As both a physician and a sociologist, Barr is uniquely positioned to offer rigorous medical explanations alongside sociological analysis. An essential text for courses in public health, health policy, and sociology, this compelling book is a vital teaching tool and a comprehensive reference for social science and medical professionals.

Reviews

Reviews

Health Disparities in the United States will serve well as a foundational text for courses on the subject and for individuals looking for a well-organized, highly researched text.

Clearly written, with an extensive list of references, it will be useful for all audiences and an important text for professionals in the health field, especially those in medical education. Highly recommended.

Dr. Barr's book is an excellent read on how race and ethnicity affect health care and contribute to health disparities.

Barr's book will go a long way toward convincing American policy makers and the public that health disparities are neither acceptable nor inevitable.

Barr has written a captivating and well-researched book.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
376
ISBN
9781421432588
Illustration Description
3 halftones, 53 line drawings
Table of Contents

Preface
1. Introduction to the Social Roots of Health Disparities
2. What Is "Health"? How Should We Define It? How Should We Measure It?
3. The Relationship between Socioeconomic Status and Health, or,

Preface
1. Introduction to the Social Roots of Health Disparities
2. What Is "Health"? How Should We Define It? How Should We Measure It?
3. The Relationship between Socioeconomic Status and Health, or, "They Call It 'Poor Health' for a Reason"
4. Understanding How Low Social Status Leads to Poor Health
5. Race, Ethnicity, and Health
6. Race/Ethnicity, Socioeconomic Status, and Health: Which Is More Important in Affecting Health Status?
7. Children's Health Disparities
8. All Things Being Equal, Does Race/Ethnicity Affect How Physicians Treat Patients?
9. Why Does Race/Ethnicity Affect the Way Physicians Treat Patients?
10. When, if Ever, Is It Appropriate to Use a Patient's Race/Ethnicity to Help Guide Medical Decisions?
11. What Should We Do to Reduce Health Disparities?
References
Index

Author Bio
Donald A. Barr, MD, PhD
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Donald A. Barr, MD, PhD

Donald A. Barr, MD, PhD, is professor emeritus at Stanford University in the Department of Pediatrics. He is the author of Health Disparities in the United States: Social Class, Race, Ethnicity, and the Social Determinants of Health; Introduction to Biosocial Medicine: The Social, Psychological, and Biological Determinants of Human Behavior and Well-Being; and Crossing the American Health Care...