Differences in income, race/ethnicity, gender and other social attributes contribute to how likely Americans are to be healthy or sick, or die prematurely, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report addresses disparities at the national level in health care access, exposure to environmental hazards, mortality, morbidity, behavioral-risk factors, disability status and social determinants of health; in other words, the conditions in which people are born, grow, live and work.

Key findings include:

  • State-level estimates in 2007 indicate that low-income residents report five to 11 fewer healthy days per month than do high-income residents.
  • Hypertension is by far the most prevalent among non-Hispanic blacks, while levels of control are lowest for Mexican-Americans.
  • Rates of adolescent pregnancy and childbirth have been falling or holding steady for all racial/ethnic minorities in all age groups. However, in 2008, disparities persist as birth rates for Hispanic adolescents and non-Hispanic black adolescents were three and 2.5 times those of whites, respectively.
  • In 2007, non-Hispanic white men were two to three times more likely to die in motor vehicle crashes than were non-Hispanic white women. The gender difference was similar in other race/ethnic groups.
  • In 2007, rates of drug-induced deaths were highest among non-Hispanic whites and lowest among Asian/Pacific Islanders.

For more information, go to www.cdc.gov/mmwr.