Race: a major health status and outcome variable 1980-1999.
Clayton, L A
Byrd, W M
Clayton, L A and Byrd, W M (2001) Race: a major health status and outcome variable 1980-1999. Journal of the National Medical Association, 93 (3 Supp). 35S-54S.
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Based on the latest available data, African Americans are faced with persistent, or worsening, wide and deep, race-based health disparities compared to the white or general population as we enter the new millennium. These disparities are a 382-year continuum. There have been two periods of health reform specifically addressing the correction of race-based health disparities. The first period (1865-1872) was linked to Freedmen's Bureau legislation and the second (1965-1975) was a part of the Black Civil Rights Movement. Both had dramatic and positive effects on black health status and outcome, but were discontinued too soon to correct the "slave health deficit." Although African-American health status and outcome is slowly improving, black health has generally stagnated or deteriorated compared to whites since 1980. There is a compelling need for a third period of health reform accompanied by a cultural competence movement to address and correct persistent, often worsening, race-based health disparities.