Disparities in Whites' Versus Blacks' Self-Rated Health: Social Status, Health-Care Services, and Health Behaviors

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Using 2009 National Health Interview Survey data, we examined how social-status factors, variables describing health services, and health-related behaviors explained self-rated health among Black adults and among White adults. We wanted to evaluate whether self-rated health's relationships with these three sets of variables were conditional on race. Our results overall indicated that social-status, health-care-services, and health-behaviors variables are important to the explanation of both groups' self-rated health. But in this study, when all social-status, health-care-services, and health-behaviors variables were controlled, Black respondents' self-reported health did not differ, on average, from White respondents'. Such a finding firmly suggests that the three sets of variables partially explain disparities in the groups' self-reported health. In the end, our results showed racial health disparities to be partially explained by racial differences in distribution of health resources and health behaviors.



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