Courtesy of National Institute on Aging
Courtesy of National Institute on Aging

One in five elderly patients with chronic disease has experienced discrimination by health care providers, according to a new study by a University of California, Berkeley professor.

The study, led by Amani Nuru-Jeter, an associate professor of epidemiology and community health sciences at the university, involved biannual surveys from 2008 to 2014 of nearly 14,000 individuals over the age of 54. The participants had experienced at least one of the following conditions: hypertension, diabetes, cancer, lung disease or stroke.

“In previous studies, Blacks’ reports of discrimination actually increased as wealth increased,” Nuru-Jeter said. “This finding is useful for continued efforts to improve health care experiences and suggests that a one-size-fits-all approach will not suffice.”

While the study specifically found that Black, White and Hispanic adults reported high rates of discrimination, Blacks perceived their race as the most common factor in the discrimination they encountered.

For Whites, where age was the most cited factor, the percentage who reported discrimination remained constant at 17 percent from 2008 to 2014.

The study, “Trends for Reported Discrimination in Health Care in a National Sample of Older Adults with Chronic Conditions,” was published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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