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Health Equity

Health equity exists when individuals have equal opportunities to be healthy. The ability to be healthy is often associated with factors such as social position, race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual identity, or disability. When these factors limit a person's ability to be healthy it can lead to health inequity.

Health inequities are caused by the uneven distribution of social determinants of health (SDOH). Social determinants include education, housing, and the neighborhood environment (e.g., sidewalks, parks), access to transportation, employment opportunities, the law and the justice systems, and health care and public health systems. SDOH affect a person's ability to earn a good living, live and work in a safe and healthy environment, and effectively use available resources including health care resources. Sometimes populations that represent a specific demographic feature (e.g., a particular racial or ethnic group) do not have equal access to quality education, housing, and other resources which can lead to greater sickness, and increased injuries and deaths.

In addition to conducting systematic reviews of intervention approaches that are designed to modify SDOH to reduce health inequities, CPSTF considers health equity across all systematic reviews, regardless of topic. To date, their work has focused on advancing health equity among racial and ethnic minority populations and populations with lower incomes.

In 2020, CPSTF took two steps to further their efforts. They selected SDOH as one of nine priority topics to guide their systematic reviews on population health interventions for 2020-2025, and they formed a Health Equity Committee to assess and advance their work in this area.

Task Force Findings
Displaying 11 - 15 of 18
Insufficient Evidence Completed December 2013
Recommended (strong evidence) Completed December 2011
Insufficient Evidence Completed October 2001
Insufficient Evidence Completed October 2001

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Summary Table

This summary of CPSTF findings to improve health equity can be used as a reference, included in presentations, or shared with colleagues.

Implementation Resources

Implementation Products

CDC’s Health Impact in 5 Years (HI-5) Initiative External Web Site Icon
HI-5 highlights non-clinical, community-wide approaches that have evidence reporting 1) positive health impacts, 2) results within five years, and 3) cost effectiveness and/or cost savings over the lifetime of the population or earlier. The website features links to implementation resources and success stories that can help communities get started.

Early Childhood Education External Web Site Icon

Infographics

Tenant-based Housing Vouchers

Did You Know? Housing is an established social determinant of health. Tenant-based housing voucher programs help households with low incomes gain access to safe, quality housing; advance health equity and improve health outcomes for households with young children, and have been shown to improve education, employment, and income later in life for children aged 12 and younger. View the Community Preventive Services Task Force recommendation at https://go.usa.gov/x69B5.
 
Mobile Friendly version
Did You Know? Housing is an established social determinant of health. Tenant-based housing voucher programs help households with low incomes gain access to safe, quality housing; advance health equity and improve health outcomes for households with young children, and have been shown to improve education, employment, and income later in life for children aged 12 and younger. View the Community Preventive Services Task Force recommendation at https://go.usa.gov/x69B5.
 

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