Numerous Health Disparities Seen for Minority Kids

February 6, 2008

Minority children experience multiple disparities in medical and dental health status, and access to care compared to white children, according to an article published in the February issue of Pediatrics.

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Minority children experience multiple disparities in medical and dental health status, and access to care compared to white children, according to an article published in the February issue of Pediatrics.

Glenn Flores, M.D., of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, and a colleague examined data from the National Survey of Children's Health, a telephone survey of a random sample of parents and guardians of 102,353 children aged 17 and younger, in order to explore racial/ethnic disparities in children's medical and dental care.

Numerous racial/ethnic disparities were seen. The prevalence of uninsurance was 6 percent among whites, 21 percent for Latinos, 15 percent for Native Americans, 7 percent for blacks, and 4 percent for Asians or Pacific Islanders. Compared with white children, Latino, black and multiracial children had significantly greater odds of having suboptimal health status. Native American, black and Latino children also had increased odds of being overweight or at risk of overweight. Multiracial children had numerous disparities.

"These data indicate that minority children in America often face a 'triple threat' of greater risks of suboptimal medical and oral health status, impaired access to medical and dental care, and lower receipt of prescription medications and essential medical and dental services," the authors conclude.

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