Segregated Spaces, Risky Places:
The Effects of Racial Segregation on Health Inequalities
Thomas A. LaVeist, Darrell Gaskin, Antonio J. Trujillo
Supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
Available online PDF [44p.] at: http://bit.ly/nFtQo9
“……..Place matters for health. Research by the Joint Center and others has consistently shown that neighborhood characteristics, often referred to as social determinants of health, such as the quality of schools, access to quality health care and nutritious foods, and exposure to environmental hazards, have a significant impact on how long one lives. Residents of neighborhoods that have poor and underfunded schools, limited access to quality health care and nutritious foods, and high levels of exposure to environmental hazards will, on average, live substantially shorter lives than residents of neighborhoods that don’t suffer from these characteristics.
This research report highlights the effects of place on health and health inequities. It outlines the existing evidence of residential segregation’s effect on health, and it extends upon existing literature by examining the relationship between segregation and health inequities using the latest federal Census and health data. What the report finds is striking. Using infant mortality as a measure of population health, the authors find that although residential segregation is decreasing, the relationship between segregation and infant mortality disparities appears to have intensified in recent years.
Government at all levels can improve health opportunities by stimulating public and private investment to help make all communities healthier. We can do so by creating incentives to improve neighborhood food options, by aggressively addressing environmental degradation, and by de-concentrating poverty from inner-cities and rural areas through smart housing and transportation policy. ….”
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