The Boston Globe’s series on race focuses on health disparities on Tuesday.
Though the issue gets scant attention in this center of world-class medicine, segregation patterns are deeply imbedded in Boston health care. Simply put: If you are black in Boston, you are less likely to get care at several of the city’s elite hospitals than if you are white.
Also, check out the paper’s Q&A from 2014 between Kate Walsh , the chief executive of Boston Medical Center, and Dr. Paula Johnson , executive director of the Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Walsh: What would you say are the biggest health issues facing the minority community in Boston?
Johnson: There are a number, and they really occur across th
e life span. For example, black infants are 1.5 to 4 times more likely to die prematurely in the first year of life. If we looked at those likely to die below the age of 74, blacks are twice as likely to die.
Then you look at the disparities in chronic disease. They are pretty significant. Heart disease, stroke, cancer. And there also are a lot of inequities in people being able to make the right choices. That is a very significant health issue for minorities. For example, being able to make healthy food choices, being able to let your children out on the playground and get adequate exercise.