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Keywords:

  • disparities;
  • health care;
  • race;
  • gender

Abstract

The most important predictor of quality of health care across all racial and ethnic groups is access, especially insurance status and the ability to pay for health care. If we consider populations with equal access to health care, two groups emerge with differing qualities of health care: non-minority and minority populations. When studies control for the stage of disease at presentation, comorbidities, severity of illness, and other variables, substantial differences in health care based on race and ethnicity can still be found. Raising the consciousness of this issue is an important step toward recognizing and eliminating health care disparities.