Healthify Blog

Who Would Zika Affect the Most in the U.S.?

If the cluster of Zika cases recently reported in Florida spreads further, the virus's impact in the United States would likely disproportionately affect the poor.

Topics: social determinants of health health disparities

From Homeless to Haven

Without a home, where would you seek shelter from bad weather? Where would you sleep? Where would you bathe and eat? Where would you go for safety? We take for granted the many benefits of living in a home.

Without permanent shelter, many homeless individuals find themselves turning to hospitals to fulfill their basic needs. With the financial challenges facing our health system already, caring for the homeless is an additional burden it struggles to address.

Topics: social determinants of health health disparities housing insecurity

The Minimum Wage and Maternal and Newborn Health

Conversations on minimum wage hikes have focused largely on the economic impacts it would have on families and states. But new research lays out the potential benefits that an increase in the minimum wage could have on poor women, their health, and the health of their children.

Women make up 64% of the 4.2 million workers earning minimum wage or less. These aren’t just teenagers working seasonal retail. The vast majority are adults. Almost 80% of women living on minimum wage are 20 or older. Approximately 40% are over 30.

Topics: social determinants of health health disparities

Summer's Impact on the Achievement Gap

The Financial Burden of Summer Vacation

The school year provides a sense of stability for families and a structure that allows both children and parents to form consistent routines. However, for underprivileged families, the stability gained from school is more extensive. In addition to the obvious educational benefits, to unprivileged families school provides child care, meals, mental and physical activity, and often before and after school programs.

Topics: health disparities

Curbing the Spread of HIV among Black Women in Washington, D.C.

Current HIV Rate at Severe Epidemic Level

It’s hard to believe that the HIV rate in our nation’s capital is almost as high as those of some African nations. In 2009, almost 3% of D.C. residents were living with HIV, three times the World Health Organization’s classification for a severe epidemic, and comparable to or even higher than the rates of Ghana, Rwanda, or Ethiopia.

Topics: social determinants of health health disparities public health

A Closer Look at America's Infant Mortality Rate

U.S. Ranks 26th in Infant Mortality Rate

The U.S. ranks behind 25 other industrialized nations when it comes to how well it keeps babies alive, the New York Times recently reported.
The U.S. infant mortality rate is 4.2 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, which is higher than most European countries and about twice the rates for Finland, Sweden and Denmark, according to a 2014 CDC report.
 
(The 4.2 figure excludes babies born at less than 24 weeks of gestation to ensure international comparability, the CDC noted in its report.)
 
Topics: health disparities public health

The Health Toll of Single Motherhood

Single Mothers at Higher Risk for Health Issues

There are over 9 million single mothers in the United States today. On top of demanding work schedules and child care responsibilities, single moms face a higher risk of developing health problems than their married peers.

Topics: health disparities public health

U.S. Ranks 19th Among Nations for Social Progress: Report

Report Focuses on Social Determinants of Health

The United States ranks a "disappointing" 19th place among nations in terms of social progress, according to a new report by U.S.-based nonprofit Social Progress Imperative.
Topics: social determinants of health health disparities public health

Obesity in Women is on the Rise, Leaving Researchers Stumped

Obesity Rates Higher Among Minority Women

The prevalence of obesity among men and women has remained largely the same over the last decade. But recent numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal a disturbing trend: While obesity among men plateaued, women’s obesity rates actually increased in recent years.

Topics: health disparities public health

Black Americans See Gains in Life Expectancy

New federal data is showing that black Americans have made significant health gains since the 1990s, the New York Times reported last month.
 
Those gains have contributed to the narrowest life expectancy gap between blacks and whites in history, having gone from a seven-year gap in 1990 to a 3.4-year gap in 2014, the newspaper reported. Life expectancy as of 2014 was 75.6 years for blacks and 79 years for whites.
 
Topics: social determinants of health health disparities public health

Teen Childbirths See Record Decline But Disparities Persist: CDC

The overall birth rate among U.S. teens ages 15 to 19 has declined to the lowest rate ever recorded, but racial and ethnic disparities persist, the CDC said in a recent report.
 
In a April 29 report, the CDC said the overall teen birth rate between 1991 and 2014 dropped 61 percent from 61.8 to 24.2 births per 1,000 females ages 15-19, but that the birth rate in 2014 remained about twice as high for Hispanic and black teens compared to white teens.
Topics: social determinants of health health disparities