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Black, Hispanic kids suffer health care disparity in Iowa, survey says

doctor-measuring-blood-pressureIOWA CITY – Black and Hispanic children in Iowa are more likely to suffer from health health care disparities that their white and Asian counterparts, a survey from the The University of Iowa Public Policy Center showed.

According to the study, among Iowa children, African-Americans and Latinos experience a higher rate of health care disparities than white and Asian children. These disparities include lower health status, lower quality of care, higher unmet need for care, more food insecurity, a higher likelihood to seek care from a hospital emergency room, and fewer safe and supportive neighborhoods. This study is one of a series of seven from the 2010 Iowa Child and Family Household Health Survey (IHHS).

The findings of the survey point to issues related directly to the health care system (delivery and financing), as well as social determinants of health, which include social attitudes, exposure to crime, socioeconomic conditions, and others. Studies have indicated that these factors, combined with environmental factors and genetics, account for 90% of what most affects health status, while health care delivery and financing only account for 10%.

One of the primary goals of the 2010 Iowa Child and Family Household Health survey was to explore racial/ethnic health disparities in Iowa through the population-based data collection used for the project. The survey was completed by 2,386 parents of Iowa children aged 0-17; 1,859 were completed by phone and 527 online. For these analyses about health disparities, an additional set of interviews were conducted to increase the number of Hispanic/Latino and African-American children in the original sample. The data were collected in the fall of 2010 and spring of 2011.

In summary, there were significant health disparities identified for children in Iowa. The most salient differences were for Hispanic/Latino children as compared to White and Asian and Pacific Islanders (API) children in the state as follows:

African American and Hispanic/Latino children were reported to be:

– More likely to be lower income
– More likely to have lower overall health status
– Less likely to have a patient-centered medical home
– More likely to need medical care but unable to get it
– More likely to have unmet need for dental care
– More likely to seek care from an emergency room in previous year
– Less likely to live in a household with consistently adequate food for the family
– More likely to have a lower behavioral/emotional health status for children ages 12-17
– Less likely to be living in supportive neighborhoods Less likely to be in schools their parents perceived as safe

African American children were reported to be:

– Most likely to have a special health care need (38%)
– Most likely to have public insurance (Medicaid/CHIP) and also more likely to
have any type dental insurance
– More likely to have need for behavioral and emotional health care and lower
behavioral/emotional health status for children ages 6-11
– More likely to have parents with lower mental health status and higher
parenting stress

Hispanic/Latino children were reported to be:

– Most likely to have a lower oral health status
– Least likely to have medical insurance (10% uninsured)
– Most likely to have inadequate insurance coverage
– Most likely to have uninsured parents (37%) and most likely to report the
parent’s insurance was inadequate
– Least likely to have a personal doctor and family-centered care
– Least likely to report need for care but least likely to receive urgent care when needed

There were also some significant differences for White and Asian children:

Asian children were reported to be:

– Least likely to have received preventive care in previous year

White children were reported to be:

– Least likely to have dental insurance

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