Black and Hispanic men are shouldering more medical costs because of health inequalities and they, their families and society are suffering from the burden, according to a new study from Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Health disparities among African American men and Hispanic men cost the economy more than $450 billion between 2006 and 2009, the study found. Black men incurred about three quarters of the costs.
The study, published in the International Journal of Men's Health, incorporated the direct cost of medical care and the indirect costs such as lower productivity and early death among black, Hispanic, Asian and white men.
"These stark findings underscore the fact that we can't afford to overlook men's health disparities that exist in this country," Roland J. Thorpe, Jr., lead author of the study and assistant professor at Hopkins and director of the Program for Research on Men's Health in the Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions. "The cost to society -- both moral and economic -- is staggering."
The researcher determined the prevalence of health conditions for each racial group from the federal Agency for Health Care Research and Quality's 2006-2009 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. They used statistical models to calculate medical costs for each group and the amount that was due to disparities. They used of ther data to determine indirect costs.
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