Race/Ethnicity, Socioeconomic Status, and Health

TitleRace/Ethnicity, Socioeconomic Status, and Health
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsCrimmins, EM, Hayward, MD, Seeman, T
EditorAnderson, NB, Bulatao, RA, Cohen, B
Book TitleCritical Perspectives on Race and Ethnic Differences in Health in Later Life
PublisherNational Academy of Sciences
KeywordsDemographics, Health Conditions and Status, Healthcare, Women and Minorities

Mounting evidence indicates that racial/ethnic differences in morbidity and mortality are tied to socioeconomic resources (Hayward, Crimmins, Miles, and Yu, 2000; Williams and Collins, 1995). Largely because of data availability, most of this evidence is based on the health experiences of blacks and whites, with much less evidence on the role of socioeconomic factors in understanding racial/ethnic disparities when Americans of Asian or Pacific Island descent, Hispanics, and Native Americans are part of the picture. The potential power of the socioeconomic status (SES) paradigm in understanding health disparities—including racial/ethnic disparities—is evident in the fact that socioeconomic differences in health outcomes have been widely documented for most health conditions in most countries. People who are poorer and who have less education are more likely to suffer from diseases, to experience loss of functioning, to be cognitively and physically impaired, and to experience higher mortality rates (Adler, Boyce, Chesney, Folkman, and Syme, 1993; Adler et al., 1994; Marmot, Kogevinas, and Elston, 1987; Marmot, Ryff, Bumpass, Shipley, and Marks, 1997; Preston and Taubman, 1994; Williams, 1990). In the United States, few health problems are more likely to occur among those who are better off, and some health conditions are particularly sensitive to SES. In recent years socioeconomic differences in health also appear to be increasing in the United States and in other developed countries (Crimmins and Saito, 2001; Feldman, Makuc, Kleinman, and Coroni-Huntley, 1989; Manton, 1997; Marmot, 1994; Pappas, Queen, Hadden, and Fisher, 1993; Preston and Elo, 1995).

Endnote Keywords

Racial Differences/socioeconomic Status/African Americans/Hispanic/health disparities/MORTALITY

Endnote ID


Citation Key5228