Multiracial and black Kentuckians tend to report higher rates of smoking, obesity, asthma, and poor mental health than their white counterparts, according to a new report by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. The report also found that black and Hispanic Kentuckians are less likely to have health insurance than white Kentuckians.
“Health Disparities in the Commonwealth, A Report on Race and Ethnicity and Health in Kentucky” looks at access to health care and preventive services, a variety of social and behavioral health indicators, and health outcomes across Kentucky adults of different racial and ethnic groups (white, non-Hispanic; black, non-Hispanic; multiracial, non-Hispanic; Hispanic of any race; and other, non-Hispanic).
Additional health disparities across race and ethnicity captured in the report:
- White Kentuckians are more likely to have a personal doctor, less likely to forgo medical care due to cost, and significantly less likely to have been screened for HIV than other racial or ethnic groups.
- Black Kentuckians are more likely to be overweight or obese and less likely to get an annual flu shot.
Multiracial Kentuckians are the most likely group to experience activity limitations due to health problems and more likely than white Kentuckians to be smokers.
- While most Kentuckians report poorer health status than average United States adults, Hispanic Kentuckians are about as likely as other Americans to report fair or poor health. That said, Hispanics report getting more physical activity than either the average Kentuckian or the average American.
In a couple of areas, Kentuckians overall report better health behaviors than the national average:
- 80 percent of Kentuckians overall are likely to have a personal doctor (national average: 77.4 percent).
- Kentuckians are less likely to engage in binge drinking (overall, 14.8 percent) than American adults overall (17.2 percent).
Still, Kentuckians report health challenges more often than the nation as a whole:
- 66.9 percent of all Kentuckians are overweight or obese (national rate: 63.5 percent).
- 27.9 percent of Kentuckians smoke (national: 19 percent)
- 29.7 percent of Kentuckians report getting no physical activity (national: 25.2 percent)
- A copy the report is available at the link below. The report is based on 2011 – 2013 data.
Contact: Bonnie Hackbarth