Skip to main content

Study: Structural racism to blame for health disparities in state

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

The Minnesota Department of the Health is set to deliver a report to the state Legislature Saturday that blames structural racism and white privilege for health disparities in the state, Minnesota Public Radio reports.

According to the agency, there are major race-based differences in almost every major condition that is tracked in the state. MPR says the report goes much further than previous reports that linked health disparities to unfair government and societal practices.

Among the findings: African-American babies are twice as likely to die during infancy in the first year than white babies; and African-American men are also likely to die from prostate cancer than white men.

In addition, the report finds there's a much higher prevalence of diabetes in American Indians than whites, and a higher death rate from diabetes among Latinos than whites. Also, there are fewer stroke deaths among white people than African-Americans, American Indians and Asians in Minnesota, MPR says.

While the report notes that personal behaviors, genetics and medical care play a role in disease, health is also shaped by physical, social and economic factors, MPR says. Among the economic factors are income, employment, education and the condition of neighborhoods.

"Your health shouldn’t be dependent on your income, your educational status, or your skin color, or your zip code," state Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger tells MPR.

The report doesn't offer any clear solutions for solving the health disparities, but encourages people to work together to improve the health of all individuals statewide.

Meanwhile, Minnesota's next-door neighbor also appears to be struggling with distinctive racial disparities between African-Americans and whites.

The blog Nonprofit Quarterly earlier this month cited the results of a study by the Center on Wisconsin Strategy, which claimed the state had the "regrettable distinction of ranking among the worst states in the nation in terms of racial equality."

According to Nonprofit Quarterly, the report also claimed Minnesota was behind Wisconsin in a number of areas, saying the state was the "worst in the nation in terms of incarceration rates, family poverty, individuals without health insurance and educational attainment."

Next Up

snow

NWS: 'Safe to say' more active weather is ahead

Three rounds of light snow around Minnesota before more substantial precipitation becomes a possibility.

7F060B54-5776-4E1A-A42C-F36C22FAF493

Hero dad who stopped carjacker who fled with his kids identified

A GoFundMe has been set up to support Derek Gotchie and his family following the incident.

Screen Shot 2022-12-03 at 4.35.18 PM

Watch: New London-Spicer wins 3A championship on incredible walk-off TD

New London-Spicer defeated the unbeaten Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton in remarkable circumstances.

MoorheadMurderSuspect

Suspect in woman's killing in Moorhead is arrested

James Kollie Jr. was arrested Friday evening.

Jennifer Carnahan

Former chair Jennifer Carnahan sues Minnesota GOP, which is suing her back

Carnahan stepped down under a cloud of controversy in August 2021.

Minneapolis Fire Department

One injured after leaping from burning vacant building in Minneapolis

Authorities say the building is known to be used by squatters.

ambulance

Head-on crash leaves two drivers dead in southeastern Minnesota

The crash happened in Houston County just before 4 p.m. Friday.

ConellHarris

Charges: Armed man made death threats at Minneapolis LGBTQ bar

The man allegedly used derogatory terms while threatening to kill someone.

image

FDA pulls last COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment as new variants rise

A therapy used to treat more than 11,000 Minnesotans is no longer authorized amid a surge in the latest COVID-19 variants.

Austin Robert LeClaire

Charges: Plymouth man shot girlfriend in head after birthday party

The 23-year-old victim is in critical condition as of Friday.

image

State announces $2.5M in grants for child care providers

Child care providers in roughly a dozen communities will receive funds to help grow the supply of affordable, quality child care.

Related

Growth in health care spending slowed in 2010; recession may be factor

The Minnesota Health Department reports the growth in health care spending was just 2.2 percent in 2010. That's the smallest increase in more than a decade. The health commissioner says it could be the result of cash-strapped Minnesotans putting off medical procedures. If so, the figure may soar as those deferred medical needs demand attention.