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Community Health Interventions: Prevention’s Role in Reducing Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities

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Publication Date: February 2007

Publisher(s): Center for American Progress

Author(s): Meredith L. King

Funder(s): Center for American Progress

Funder(s): Center for American Progress

Topic: Health (Health services for minorities)

Type: Report


Despite the overall improved health of Americans collectively, racial and ethnic disparities continue to exist. This health burden is most evident among minorities suffering from preventable diseases. African Americans, American Indians and Alaska Natives, Hispanics, and Native Hawaiians and Pacific Island ers have higher rates of modifiable risk factors—such as hypertension, high blood cholesterol levels, diabetes, tobacco use, physical inactivity, and obesity—than their white counterparts.

Empirical evidence of community-level interventions shows that efforts to organize communities, educate them through mass and direct education, provide screenings for risk factors, and change their environment through local programs and policies can alter risky health behaviors. Yet, the success of many of these interventions is dependent on the Congressional appropriations process.