Study Shows Health Disparities Among Minorities in Iowa


Among Iowa children, African-Americans and Latinos experience a higher rate of health care disparities than white and Asian children, according to a study conducted by the University of Iowa Public Policy Center. 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%.

To view the full report, click .

“Health disparities are an essential topic in public health. By understanding how health varies among Iowans, we can provide better services and better target at-risk populations. The Iowa Household Health Survey provides an insight into health in Iowa not found in other state-wide data,” says Betsy Richey of the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH).

The IDPH will hold a webinar to provide an overview of the report, as well as a presentation by Kim Piper about the Bureau of Family Health’s efforts to address health disparities in Iowa, on Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 1:00 p.m.   A webinar seat can be reserved at

The 2010 IHHS was the third comprehensive, statewide effort to evaluate the health status, access to health care, and social environment of children in families in Iowa. The first IHHS was conducted in 2000. The 2010 IHHS was a collaboration between the IDPH, the PPC, and the Child Health Specialty Clinics (CHSC). Funding was provided primarily by the IDPH, with additional funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

To view a television news story about the report, click here.