Getting Started

What are health disparities?

Health disparities can include differences in how diseases or conditions are diagnosed or treated amongst different groups of people. Factors can include:

  • gender
  • race or ethnicity
  • education or income
  • disability
  • geographic location 
  • sexual orientation

Health disparities can also include differences in how people access health care services or in the quality of the treatment that is received.

Why is research in eliminating health disparities important?

For the last 20 years, Healthy People’s overarching goals have focused on disparities. In Healthy People 2000, the goal was to reduce health disparities among Americans, and in 2010 that goal was elevated to "eliminate" disparities. 

In Healthy People 2020, that goal was expanded to 1) achieve health equity, 2) eliminate disparities, and 3) improve the health of all groups. See Healthy People 2020's website for more background information, statistics, and even a widget that can be plugged into your existing webiste.

Researching a health disparity topic

The following databases are best for finding literature on health disparities:

Try using the following terms in your search strategy:

  • health disparit* (will search health disparity as well as health disparities)
  • health status disparit*
  • health care disparit*
  • healthcare disparit*
  • health inequit*
  • health equit*
  • health inequalit*
  • health equalit*
Last Updated: Jul 23, 2020 4:50 PM