Health Disparities Among America’s Health Care Providers: Evidence From the Integrated Health Interview Series, 1982 to 2004

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Abstract

Objective:

To examine whether health status and obesity prevalence differ by race or ethnicity and health care workforce category.

Methods:

Data representing US health care workers aged 20 to 64 between 1982 and 2004 were retrieved from the Integrated Health Interview Series. Trends, as well as disparities, in health status and obesity are examined by workforce category using logistic regression.

Results:

Self-reported health status of health care workers has declined over time and the prevalence of obesity is rising. Moreover, there is a clear social gradient across workforce categories, which is widening over time. Within workforce categories, there are significant racial disparities in health status and prevalence of obesity.

Conclusions:

Health of health care workers needs to be taken into account when setting policies intended to increase access to health care and create a healthy diverse workforce.

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