Science Life

In America, the issue of health disparities is often considered as a matter of black and white…and Hispanic and Asian-American, and so on. Most of the time, U.S. populations are sliced into categories of race and ethnicity so that researchers can compare health measures and determine culturally relevant interventions where needed. But racial identity is only one of many possible cultural influences on an individual’s health. In a new article, two physicians at the University of Chicago Medicine argue for approaching health disparities in the United States from a new, religious perspective.

When Americans are placed into categories of race or ethnicity, it cuts across socioeconomic, geographic, and even cultural lines. But the assumption is that all people of a given race experience some of the same societal pressures and engage in similar cultural practices that may influence health. By the same logic, religion could be considered a useful category…

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