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Am J Public Health. 2008 Sep;98(9 Suppl):S38-47.

Racial/ethnic variations in women's health: the social embeddedness of health.

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  • 1Department of Sociology and Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, PO Box 1248, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1248, USA.


This article provides an overview of the magnitude of and trends in racial/ethnic disparities in health for women in the United States. It emphasizes the importance of attending to diversity in the health profiles and populations of minority women. Socioeconomic status is a central determinant of racial/ethnic disparities in health, but several other factors, including medical care, geographic location, migration and acculturation, racism, and exposure to stress and resources also play a role. There is a need for renewed attention to monitoring, understanding, and actively seeking to eliminate racial/ethnic disparities in health.


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