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Trends in racial and ethnic-specific rates for the health status indicators: United States, 1990-98.

  • Keppel, Kenneth G
  • Pearcy, Jeffrey N
  • Wagener, Diane K
Published Article
Healthy People 2000 statistical notes / National Center for Health Statistics
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2002
PMID: 11808619


The Health Status Indicators (HSIs) were developed as part of the Healthy People 2000 process to facilitate the comparison of health status measures at national, State,and local levels. In this report national trends in racial and ethnic-specific rates for 17 HSIs are examined for the period from 1990-8. One of three overarching goals of Healthy People 2000 was to reduce health disparities. Examination of trends in the HSIs indicates that rates for most racial/ethnic groups improved. Rates for American Indian or Alaska Natives did not improve for six of the HSIs. An index of disparity, a summary measure of disparity among race/ethnic-specific rates, was used to measure changes in disparity between 1990 and 1998. The index of disparity decreased for 12 of the HSIs. Based on this index, racial/ethnic disparity in the percent of low birthweight infants declined by 19 percent, disparity in the percent of children under 18 years of age in poverty and in the syphilis case rate declined by 13 percent, and disparity in the stroke death rate declined by 11 percent. The index declined by less than 10 percent for eight other indicators. The index of disparity increased between 1990 and 1998 for the other five HSIs examined here. The index of disparity increased by more than 10 percent for work-related injury death rates, motor vehicle crash death rates, and suicide death rates. While rates for the HSIs have improved, not all groups have benefited equally and substantial differences among racial/ethnic groups persist.

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