What is a health disparity? In purely analytical terms, it is a measure of health that sets one group of people apart from another. In human terms, it amounts to real differences in years of healthy life enjoyed by one group compared to another.
More than 20 years ago, the Institute of Medicine defined public health as “what we as a society do to collectively assure the conditions in which people can be healthy.”
Over the past decade, Vermonters have been judged to be among the healthiest citizens of any state. But when we take a closer look at ourselves and the social determinants of health – our collective access to education, jobs, a living wage, healthy foods, medical care, safe housing and healthful, supportive and connected communities – we find another story. Too many of us, expecially younger, less educated, and lower income Vermonters, experience the consequences of health disparities that are largely preventable.
The Health Disparities of Vermonters Report
This report presents information, maps, data and trends that highlight health disparities as they exist today in the state, as well as recommended actions that can be taken to reduce these disparities.
The Health Disparities of Vermonters • June 2010
Introduction & Reader’s Guide [203KB - 7 pg]
Table of Contents, Introduction, Data Sources, Federal Poverty Level, Reporting Race & Ethnicity, Federal Categories & Definitions
Income Disparities [543KB - 10 pg]
Income is the most common measure of socioeconomic status, and a strong predictor of the health of an individual or community.
Education & Occupation Disparities [317KB - 10 pg]
Education and occupation combine with income to provide a thorough measure of socioeconomic status – and a person’s socioeconomic status is one of the stongest predictors of his or her health.
Housing & the Built Environment [1.29MB - 12 pg]
It is important for everyone to have reliable shelter, and that the environment there be safe and healthy. Beyond housing, the “built” environment – the way communities are designed and maintained – matters, too.
Access to Care [1.27MB - 12 pg]
Good access to health care influences a person’s use of health care services and improves overall health. Access to care involves much more than simply having health insurance coverage.
Race, Ethnicity & Cultural Identity [432KB - 14 pg]
Vermont’s racial and ethnic minority populations are growing at a much faster rate than the population overall. Do health disparities among Vermonters correlate with race, ethnicity or cultural differences?
Stress, Disability & Depression [179KB - 8 pg]
Stress is a risk to health that is difficult to quantify, but anyone who lives with substantial stress from day to day knows the toll it can take on one’s energy, outlook and overall quality of life.
Recommendations [93KB - 3 pg]
Recommendations to reduce health disparities among Vermonters.
Read the Full Report [12.6MB - 76 pgs]
Resources from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention