As we know, our life experiences are, in many ways, shaped by the differences that make us each unique. Health is no exception. We know that groups from different socioeconomic backgrounds, education levels, and race or ethnicity exhibit different health patterns.
A couple of examples: National statistics reveal that people with no more than a high school education smoke cigarettes for twice as many years as those with at least a bachelor's degree. And here in Maryland, African-Americans are more than three times as likely as whites to be admitted to a hospital for complications of diabetes. Diabetes is a largely preventable condition, and for those who have it, it can be managed.
Bob Atlas, president and CEO of the Maryland Hospital Association comments on the complex reasons for these differences.