Online Program

Health Care Access in Mississippi: Examining racial disparities by socioeconomic determinants

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Lamees El-sadek, MHS, Mississippi State Department of Health, Jackson, MS
Rodolfo Vargas, MS, Office of Health Data and Research, Mississippi State Department of Health, Jackson, MS
Lei Zhang, PhD, MSc, MBA, Office of Health Data & Research, Mississippi State Department of Health, Jackson, MS
Purpose:  Mississippians have the nation’s lowest healthy life expectancy. The CDC further estimates black Mississippi adults, aged 65 years, will live 3.6 fewer years than their white neighbors. Health inequity by race is often a result of preventable social inequalities. Understanding the context by which Mississippians subpopulations seek care can guide policies.  

Methods: Descriptive analysis was used to assess social determinants of health care access by race. Data analysis utilized SAS 9.3 and included Mississippi adults 18 years or older in the 2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.  

Results: By education, 24.8% of blacks (vs. 15.9% of whites, p<.001) have not completed a high school or equivalent education.  Of black adults, 41.7% earn less than $20,000 and 11.6% earn $50,000 or more in household income (vs. white adults, 18.8% who earn <$20,000 and 35.1% who earn $50,000+, p<.0001). By affordability, 29.1% of blacks (vs. 16.7% of whites, p=.0313) report an instance within the past 12 months when they were unable to see a doctor because of inability to afford associated costs. By health insurance coverage, 66.6% of blacks (vs. 77.4% of whites, p<.0001) are insured.

Conclusion: Nearly half of Mississippi’s black adults earn less than $20,000 in household income. Black Mississippians compared to their white counterparts also have lower high school completion rates, report lower ability to seek treatment as a result of cost, and less of this group is insured. This study lends scientific support to the socioeconomic disparities that may contribute to Mississippi’s health disparities.  

Learning Areas:

Biostatistics, economics
Chronic disease management and prevention
Program planning
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Define socioeconomic characteristics of Mississippi's black and white adult populations utilizing self-reported data.

Keyword(s): Health Disparities/Inequities, Chronic Disease Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a chronic disease epidemiologist and evaluator for the Mississippi State Department of Health. I also have specific academic and research training/interest in health disparity research and access among vulnerable populations.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.