Most U.S. residents want a society in which all persons live long, healthy lives; however, that vision is yet to be realized fully. As two of its primary goals, CDC aims to reduce preventable morbidity and mortality and to eliminate disparities in health between segments of the U.S. population. Health disparities are differences in health outcomes and their determinants between segments of the population, as defined by social, demographic, environmental, and geographic attributes.
Health inequalities, which is sometimes used interchangeably with the term health disparities, is more often used in the scientific and economic literature to refer to summary measures of population health associated with individual- or group-specific attributes (e.g., income, education, or race/ethnicity). This book consolidates and discusses the most recent national data available on disparities in mortality, morbidity, behavioral risk factors, health-care access, preventive health services, and social determinants of critical health problems in the United States by using selected indicators.