The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines health disparities as “preventable differences in the burden of disease, injury, violence, or opportunities to achieve optimal health that are experienced by socially disadvantaged populations.”

Health disparities are the result of multiple factors:

  • Poverty
  • Exposure to environmental threats (such as poor air quality)
  • Educational inequities
  • Individual and behavioral factors (such as smoking)
  • Inadequate access to healthcare

Other factors that strongly influence health status and health disparities include access to:

  • Nutritious food
  • Safe housing
  • Affordable, reliable public transportation
  • Culturally sensitive healthcare providers
  • Health insurance
  • Clean water

These social determinants of health are the structural determinants and conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age.


Cheyenne Nawrot, MPH
Minority Health Coordinator
[email protected]

Phone: 419-213-2882
Fax: 419-213-4017