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Health Place. 2011 Mar;17(2):438-48. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2010.12.002. Epub 2010 Dec 14.

Racial/ethnic residential segregation: framing the context of health risk and health disparities.

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Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health, 800 Sumter Street, Suite 205, Columbia, SC 29208, USA.


An increasing body of public health literature links patterns of racial/ethnic residential segregation to health status and health disparities. Despite substantial new empirical work, meaningful understanding of the pathways through which segregation operates to influence health remains elusive. The literature on segregation and health was appraised with an emphasis on select conceptual, methodological, and analytical issues. Recommendations for advancing the next generation of racial/ethnic residential segregation and health research will require closer attention to sharpening the methodology of measuring segregation, testing mediating pathways and effect modification, incorporating stronger test of causality, exploring factors of resilience in segregated areas, applying a life-course perspective, broadening the scope of the investigation of segregation to include nativity status in blacks and other racial/ethnic groups, and linking segregation measures with biological data.

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