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Racial, Ethnic Health Disparities Among Youths Found

BOSTON — There are large health gaps between black, Latino and white fifth-graders in the United States. Those gaps at an early age are often a precursor to larger problems that can last well into adulthood.

A new study by Boston Children’s Hospital and a consortium of research institutions looked at the potential causes of racial and ethnic health disparities in 10- and 11-year-olds.

The study’s author, Dr. Mark Schuster, chief of general pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital and professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, joined All Things Considered Wednesday to discuss the findings.

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  • Eric Herot

    This problem has been studied to death, to the point where it makes me shake my fist every time I see a headline like “race, ethnic disparities exist.”  The tone of the discussion needs to be changed.  We *know* that black and Latino kids do not do as well as their white counterparts.  But we have also now established pretty unequivocally that this disparity disappears when we control for economic factors.  Can’t we now start with the assumption that money makes all of the difference and then work from there?

    Also, from my understanding of this problem, it is actually net worth and parental education that makes the biggest difference, not income itself.  My bet is that if money is accounted for in this way, whatever disparities remain unexplained in this study will actually disappear.

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