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The Contributions of Selected Diseases to Disparities in Death Rates and Years of Life Lost for Racial/Ethnic Minorities in the United States, 1999–2010

September 11, 2014 Comments off

The Contributions of Selected Diseases to Disparities in Death Rates and Years of Life Lost for Racial/Ethnic Minorities in the United States, 1999–2010
Source: Preventing Chronic Disease (CDC)

Introduction
Differences in risk for death from diseases and other causes among racial/ethnic groups likely contributed to the limited improvement in the state of health in the United States in the last few decades. The objective of this study was to identify causes of death that are the largest contributors to health disparities among racial/ethnic groups.

Methods
Using data from WONDER system, we measured the relative (age-adjusted mortality ratio [AAMR]) and absolute (difference in years of life lost [dYLL]) differences in mortality risk between the non-Hispanic white population and the black, Hispanic, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Asian/Pacific Islander populations for the 25 leading causes of death.

Results
Many causes contributed to disparities between non-Hispanic whites and blacks, led by assault (AAMR, 7.56; dYLL, 4.5 million). Malignant neoplasms were the second largest absolute contributor (dYLL, 3.8 million) to black–white disparities; we also found substantial relative and absolute differences for several cardiovascular diseases. Only assault, diabetes, and diseases of the liver contributed substantially to disparities between non-Hispanic whites and Hispanics (AAMR ≥ 1.65; dYLL ≥ 325,000). Many causes of death, led by assault (AAMR, 3.25; dYLL, 98,000), contributed to disparities between non-Hispanic whites and American Indians/Alaska Natives; Asian/Pacific Islanders did not have a higher risk than non-Hispanic whites for death from any disease.

Conclusion
Assault was a substantial contributor to disparities in mortality among non-Asian racial/ethnic minority populations. Research and intervention resources need to target diseases (such as diabetes and diseases of the liver) that affect certain racial/ethnic populations.

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Multiraciality in Cyberspace: Honorary Whiteness, Hypo-descent or Something Else?

September 5, 2014 Comments off

Multiraciality in Cyberspace: Honorary Whiteness, Hypo-descent or Something Else?
Source: University of Massachusetts-Amherst (Lundquist)

Mixed-race studies is a growing area of sociological inquiry, yet little is known concerning how individuals treat or perceive the growing U.S. population that identify with multiple racial categories. Using data from one of the largest dating websites in the United States, we respond to this gap in the literature and examine multiracial identification as an interactive process. We assess how the specific multiracial makeup of potential partners effect the responsiveness of online monoracial daters of varying racial identities and find that Honorary Whiteness is the main driving force behind monoracials’ treatment of multiracial users; our findings indicate that all multiracial daters receive a premium in preference relative to their monoracial counterparts; however, there is important racial subgroup variation. Asian-white daters in particular are afforded a heightened status in online dating by whites, while black multiracials are treated as an in-between group. For a few specific multiracial-gender groups we also discover an unexpected result that we call the Bonus effect, where multiracial daters receive a preferred status above all groups, including whites.

The Persistence and Heterogeneity of Health among Older Americans

September 4, 2014 Comments off

The Persistence and Heterogeneity of Health among Older Americans
Source: National Bureau of Economic Research

We consider how age-health profiles differ by demographic characteristics such as education, race, and ethnicity. A key feature of the analysis is the joint estimation of health and mortality to correct for the effect of mortality selection on observed age-health profiles. The model also allows for heterogeneity in individual health at a point in time and the persistence of the unobserved component of health over time. The observed component of health is based on a multidimensional index based on 27 indicators of health. Most of the key results are shown by simulations that illustrate the range of issues that can be addressed using the model. Differences in health by education and racial-ethnic group at age 50 persist throughout the remainder of life. Based on observed profiles, the health of whites is about 8 percentile points greater than the health of blacks at age 50 but by age 90 the gap is only 5 percentile points. However, when corrected for mortality selection, the health of blacks is actually declining more rapidly with age than the health of whites; the true gap widens with age. We also find that much of the difference in age-health profiles by racial-ethnic group is accounted for by differences in the levels of education between race-ethnic groups–from two-thirds to 85 percent for men and about half for women. We also simulate differences in survival probabilities by level of education and health and use these probabilities to calculate the expected present discounted value (EPDV) of an immediate annuity with first payout at age 66 for persons by gender, level of education, and health decile. The range of EPDVs is over two-fold for both men and women suggesting enormous potential for adverse selection.

America’s Leaky Pipeline for Teachers of Color: Getting More Teachers of Color into the Classroom

September 3, 2014 Comments off

America’s Leaky Pipeline for Teachers of Color: Getting More Teachers of Color into the Classroom
Source: Center for American Progress

If you spend time in almost any major school district in America today, you will notice that the students often do not look much like the teachers. In fact, in some areas, the students don’t look anything like their teachers. There is a significant demographic gap in the largely white teaching profession and an increasingly diverse student population.

To prepare American students for lives of high achievement, America’s schools need a teaching corps that is not only highly effective but also racially and ethnically diverse. Progress has been made in recent decades in attracting people of color to the teaching profession. But major barriers—including a scarcity of high-quality, teacher-training programs targeted at teachers of color; the educational debt students of color must shoulder; and the general lack of esteem in our society for teaching—stand in the way of producing an optimal pool of teachers. Without vigorous policy innovations and public investment, the demographic gap will only widen to the detriment of children’s education.

This report will describe how the shortcomings of today’s education system and the underachievement of many of today’s students of color shrink the future supply of teachers of color. Furthermore, it will offer policy recommendations through which federal and state education agencies and local school districts can address this critical problem.

New Report Shows Continued Pattern of Voting Rights Discrimination—African American, Latino, Asian American and Native American Voters More Vulnerable Than Ever

September 2, 2014 Comments off

New Report Shows Continued Pattern of Voting Rights Discrimination—African American, Latino, Asian American and Native American Voters More Vulnerable Than Ever
Source: National Commission on Voting Rights

On the anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act and a year after the Supreme Court’s Shelby County v Holder decision gutted a vital protection of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), the National Commission on Voting Rights has released a new report showing where and how minority voters continue to be harmed by racial discrimination in voting. The report, Protecting Minority Voters: Our Work is Not Done, challenges the Court’s rationale that improvements in minority citizens’ rates of voting and voter registration and the success of minority candidates indicated that the coverage formula protecting minority voters was unconstitutionally outdated.

Labor Force Characteristics by Race and Ethnicity, 2013

August 29, 2014 Comments off

Labor Force Characteristics by Race and Ethnicity, 2013 (PDF)
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

In 2013, the overall unemployment rate for the United States was 7.4 percent; however, the rate varied across race and ethnicity groups. The rates were highest for Blacks (13.1 percent) and for American Indians and Alaska Natives (12.8 percent) and lowest for Asians (5.2 percent) and for Whites (6.5 percent). The jobless rate was 9.1 percent for Hispanics, 10.2 percent for Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders, and 11.0 percent for people of Two or More Races.

Labor market differences among the race and ethnicity groups are associated with many factors, not all of which are measurable. These factors include variations across the groups in educational attainment; the occupations and industries in which the groups work; the geographic areas of the country in which the groups are concentrated, including whether they tend to reside in urban or rural settings; and the degree of discrimination encountered in the workplace.

BYP Memo: Moving Beyond Marriage, What Young People of Color Think about the LGBT Agenda

August 28, 2014 Comments off

BYP Memo: Moving Beyond Marriage, What Young People of Color Think about the LGBT Agenda
Source: Black Youth Project

Over the last decade, we have witnessed a dramatic shift in how the public and the courts view same-sex marriage. Much of the reporting on this issue focuses on the overwhelming levels of support for same-sex marriage from the millenial generation. But as victories pile up for the marriage equality movement, we know much less about how young people view the LGBT agenda, and whether young people of color believe the LGBT agenda best serves their communities. These questions are particularly important as LGBT organizations negotiate policies such as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and prepare strategies around other important LGBT issues.

Our latest report provides answers to these questions using a nationally representative survey of 1,500 young people between the ages of 18 and 30 conducted during June 2014. Our main findings are as follows:

  • More Black (80.2%) and Latino (74.9%) youth believe the marriage equality movement has taken too much attention away from other important LGBT issues compared to white youth (64.0%).
  • More Black youth (58.0%) believe that LGBT issues in communities of color are not well-represented by mainstream LGBT organizations than Latino (45.9%) and white youth (42.7%).
  • More than a third (35.0%) of Black youth reported that HIV/AIDS is the single most important issue for LGBT organizations to address. Latino youth reported that bullying (20.1%) is the most important issue, while white youth (21.3%) reported that same-sex marriage is the most important issue.
  • Young people of color are more supportive of policies that would provide sensitivity training for police around transgender issues (77.8% and 73.2%, respectively) and require health insurers to provide coverage for transgender health issues (64.5% and 65.8%, respectively) than white youth (66.2% and 56.3%, respectively).
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