Briefs and Reports

Health Disparities in Connecticut: Causes, Effects, and What We Can Do

By many measures, Connecticut is one of the nation’s healthiest states. Yet a closer look at health data reveals major disparities in health by race and ethnicity.

Among the disparities in Connecticut:

  • Babies born to black mothers in Connecticut are more than four times as likely to die before their first birthday than babies born to white mothers.
  • Black residents are nearly four times as likely as white residents to have a diabetes-related lower-extremity amputation, and more than twice as likely to die from diabetes.
  • Compared to their white peers, black children and teens are nearly 5½ times more likely to go to the emergency department because of asthma, while Hispanic children and teens are 4½ times as likely.
  • Black men are nearly twice as likely to die from prostate cancer as white men.

Health disparities and the conditions that cause them are significant problems with deep roots, and they have steep costs to individuals, communities, and the economy. Yet they are not intractable. Other states and health systems have made progress in reducing or even eliminating disparities. Connecticut can learn from these examples to make the state one where everyone can be as healthy as possible, regardless of race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status.

Author: Arielle Levin Becker

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