Ethnic health inequalities equate to 20 years' ageing

19 March 2021

In 15 out of 17 minority ethnic groups, health-related quality of life in adults aged 55+ was worse on average for women, men, or both, than for white British people, a study has revealed.

In four of those groups – Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Arab, and Gypsy/Irish Traveller – the difference compared with the white British group was equivalent to, or greater than, the health impacts of being 20 years older.

The research, published in The Lancet Public Health, also found that the size of disadvantage was for the most part greater for women.

The study used surveys from people registered at GP practices in England from July 2014 to April 2017.

The authors highlighted that social deprivation could not fully explain the health disparities observed, suggesting that other factors such as health inequalities in experiences of healthcare and local services, played a role.

The authors called for decisive policy action plus more long-term research on the drivers of inequalities.

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