Health Disparities in Chronic Conditions

What are health disparities? 

A health disparity is a health difference that negatively affects disadvantaged populations compared to a certain group, based on one or more health outcomes. Social determinants of health (SDoH) are conditions — such as where a person is born and where they live, work, and grow— that affect health outcomes. SDoH can be grouped into five domains:

  • Economic Stability
  • Education Access and Quality
  • Health Care Access and Quality
  • Neighborhood and Built Environment
  • Social and Community Context


Why does CEAL’s focus include health disparities?

Populations who experience health disparities are socially disadvantaged due in part to racist or discriminatory acts and are not fully represented in health care. These social inequities put them at increased risk for many chronic conditions. For example, during the recent pandemic, racial and ethnic communities with lower education levels and experiencing financial insecurity were more likely to get COVID-19 or severe illness.1

1 Social Determinants and Indicators of COVID-19 Among Marginalized Communities: A Scientific Review and Call to Action for Pandemic Response and Recovery