Special health concerns of ethnic minority women
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Special health concerns of ethnic minority women

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  • English

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      Public Health Rep
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      Ethnic minorities have become an increasingly greater part of the U.S. population. From 1970 to 1980, minorities (American Indian and Native Alaskan, Asian and Pacific Islanders, Black, and Hispanic) rose from 16.7 percent to 20.4 percent of the population. Their rate of increase was more than three times that of the population as a whole (36 percent versus 11.5 percent). In 1980, there were 23.8 million minority females who accounted for 20.1 percent of the U.S. female population.As a group, minority women suffer disproportionately from socioeconomic disadvantages and discrimination that impact on their health. Many must also overcome ethnocultural barriers in gaining access to the health care system. In addition to sharing these common obstacles, each minority has its special problems and needs. Today, minority women bear a disproportionate share of diseases, homicides, and unintentional injuries. Their special health care needs present an important challenge to persons in all facets and at all levels of the health care system. Becoming aware of and sensitive to the plight of minority women is a crucial first step for policymakers and service providers. There should be a concerted effort to educate both health service providers and consumers about ways to break down ethnocultural barriers. Also needed is the collection of better health statistics through accurate racial and ethnic identification in surveys and vital records and abandonment of labels such as "others" and "nonwhites." Lastly, there should also be a sincere effort to increase participation by minority women in all aspects of health care.
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