Health Equity

Background

Health Equity

Health equity is achieved when all people have a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. Inequities are created when systematic barriers disproportionately impact minority groups. Racial, ethnic, linguistic, and sexual minorities have been historically withheld from obtaining resources that are needed to be healthy, which is a clear barrier to achieving health equity.

Health Disparities

The term health disparity is often used to describe differences in access to healthcare and health outcomes between racial and ethnic groups. However, disparities exist across other dimensions as well, such as gender, sexual orientation, age, disability status, socioeconomic status, and geographic location.

In order to achieve health equity and ensure every person has equitable access to health and healthcare services, we must collectively address health disparities and injustices.

We invite you to refer to the 2018-2021 Greater Nashua Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) to see how the Greater Nashua Public Health Region(GNPHR) is working to address health disparities in our community.

Health Equity Data Overview

Check out the points below for the main takeaways from this page. 

• The Gini Index for Hillsborough County is .43, indicating that the highest income individuals are receiving a disproportionate amount of the population's total income.

• In Nashua, the gender wage gap shows that males are more likely to make 50k-100k, while females are more likely to make less than 50k when compared to males. Females are also more likely to live below the poverty level when compared to males. 

• In Nashua, the race and ethnicity wage gap shows that 31.4% of American Indian/Alaskan Natives, 25% of Native Hawaiians, 22% of Hispanic/Latinx, and 14% of Black/African American residents live below poverty level. These race/ethnicities are also more likely to be unemployed when compared with white residents in Nashua. 

• There is a 20 year difference in life expectancy between census tract 107 (downtown Nashua) and census tract 110. People living in census tract 107 live for an average of 64 years, while people living in census tract 110 live for an average of 84 years. This indicates that where a person lives is directly correlated with how long that they live. 

Income Inequality

Income inequalities occur across different race, ethnicity and gender groups. Gaps in income result in increased health inequities and exacerbate the impact of social determinants of health. Social determinants of health have a direct impact on a population's health and well-being, which is why it is essential to work to reduce economic inequality and therefore reduce inequalities in health.

The Gini Index is an indication of the distribution of wealth in a population. A high Gini Index (1) indicates that the highest income individuals are receiving a disproportionate amount of the population's total income. A low Gini Index (0) indicates that every individual is receiving the same income and therefore 100% equal.

American Community Survey, Table: B19083.

Gender Wage Gap

The gender wage gap is due to many compounding factors, such as discrimination, occupational segregation, and both direct and indirect bias against working mothers. United States women, on average, make 20% less when compared to their male counterparts. This gap is even wider for Black and African American women and Latina women, causing women of color to be at an increased risk of experiencing low wages and therefore associated adverse health outcomes.

Race and Ethnicity Wage Gap

Racial and ethnic wage inequality is due to many compounding factors, such as institutionalized and systemic racism and historical discrimination. The impact of race on wage is still evident even after controlling for other factors such as education, work experience, and occupation type.

Disparities in Health

In the U.S., there are substantial health inequities attributable to the constructs of race, ethnicity, gender and geographic location. There inequities are observed for a variety of health outcomes, including the prevalence, incidence, mortality, and morbidity due to countless health outcomes (i.e. cancer, homicide, heart disease etc). Differences in health between these groups are caused by socioeconomic status, environmental conditions, community environments, variations in medical care, and many other factors.

Access to Care

Increasing access to healthcare is vital to increasing the health of communities, expanding health equity, and increasing quality of life. Access to healthcare is not limited to having health insurance, it includes being able to access services through timely appointments, finding healthcare providers that the patient can communicate with, accessing the treatments or testing needed to maintain or increase health, and being able to understand health information that is being provided. 

Individuals that do not have health insurance are less likely to receive medical care and experience adverse health outcomes.

Life Expectancy by Census Tract

People living just a few streets apart from each other can have significant differences in life expectancy. Life expectancy at birth is the average number of years a person can expect to live.

There is a 20 year difference in life expectancy between census tract 107 (downtown Nashua) and census tract 110. People living in census tract 107 live for an average of 64 years, while people living in census tract 110 live for an average of 84 years.   This indicates that where a person lives is directly correlated with how long that they live.

These significant gaps in life expectancy may be attributed to a variety of different factors such as overdose deaths, motor vehicle accidents, homelessness, and access to care.

U.S. Small-area Life Expectancy Estimates Project 2010-2015

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