Racial Dissimilarities as a Social Determinant of Health Outcomes: Evidence from Counties in the State of Georgia
AbstractSocial determinants of health account for about 50 percent of health outcomes- more than any other category, yet is the most understudied, therefore warranting further investigation. We contend that within social determinants of health, analysis of racial segregation is of importance. Racial segregation is a structural form of racism, where people of similar race live in communities apart from people of other races. Prior studies have used a dissimilarity index to measure racial segregation and its impact on health outcomes, and has suggested that racial residential segregation has a negative impact on health outcomes, but none of these studies have focused on county level data or the State of Georgia in particular. Using a dataset from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, supplemented by other public health and demographic data for all counties in Georgia, we use regression analysis to model the relationship between segregation and various health outcomes. A variety of social determinants of health were analyzed ranging from factors of economic stability, neighborhood and physical environment, and education, to aspects of the healthcare system. Initial results suggest that racial segregation relates to health outcomes, but it depends on the health outcomes being measured. Conclusions are pending further quantitative analysis.
AffiliationHull College of Business
Department of English & Foreign Languages