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Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

Desperately Seeking Disparities: Not So Hard to Find, Even in MA

Desperately Seeking Disparities: Not So Hard to Find, Even in MA

April 21, 2007

Kaiser’s always useful http://statehealthfacts.org just provided several updates of key health and health care indicators by race/ethnicity and state. We’re always drawn to the MA data, of course, to see what pops out. Here are some observations from their latest update:

Infant Mortality: MA looks mighty darn good. #2 among the 50 states (New Hampshire beats us – 4.3 deaths per 1,000 live births vs. 4.9). We are #3 for African Americans – that’s the good news; the bad news is the rate for African Americans is more than twice as high as that of Whites: 9.5 vs. 4.4. And here’s a surprise – the rate for Latinos, at 6.3, is only the 22nd best among all 50 states.

Diabetes Related Mortality: Overall death rate at 20 per 100,000 is the 5th best in the nation; the rate for African Americans, 41.6, is #9 among all states, and once again more than double the rate for Whites: 41.6 vs. 19.2.

Annual AIDS Case Rate per 100,000: Here’s one place we look pretty bad: The overall MA rate of 10.8 places us 32 among all states – the national average of 14.0 is skewed upward by the eye popping stat from the District of Columbia of 128.4(!) Among African Americans we have the 42nd best rate at 73.7, and among Hispanics, our rate is 48th best at 52.0.

Lots of work to do. Not a bad place for the illustrious new Public Health Council to start. Click here for the latest updates from HCFA's Disparities Action Network.