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What Are Disparities in Healthcare?

Disparities in healthcare are preventable differences in the burden of disease, injury, violence, or opportunities to achieve optimal health that are experienced by socially disadvantaged populations.1

Factors Causing Disparities

Factors that cause these disparities include the following:1

  • Educational inequalities
  • Poverty
  • Individual and behavioral factors
  • Environmental threats
  • Inadequate access to healthcare
  • Systemic racism
  • Mistrust of the healthcare system

 

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Poorer Outcomes Among BIPOC Populations

This graph shows that Black people, Hispanic people, American Indian or Alaskan Native people, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islanders in the U.S. tend to fare worse in overall health care than white Americans.

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The IMF Strives For Health Equity

“Health equity is achieved when every person has the opportunity to ‘attain his or her full health potential’ and no one is ‘disadvantaged from achieving this potential because of social position or other socially determined circumstances.’"1

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How Do Disparities in Myeloma Care Affect Specific Racial and Ethnic Groups? 

See the facts: 

These graphs show that African Americans and Hispanic Americans have a higher incidence of myeloma and higher mortality rates from the disease. In fact, mortality rates are about twice as high in Black people as in white people.3

Myeloma Incidence: By the Numbers

 

Average annual rate per 100,000, age adjusted to the 2000 U.S. standard population. Data sources: North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR), 2021

Average annual rate per 100,000, age adjusted to the 2000 U.S. standard population. Data sources: National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021

 

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Take a second look

Why this matters

The above graph and corresponding data tables show that white patients receive autologous stem cell transplants and novel drug therapy treatments more often and sooner in the course of the disease. Delayed treatment and lack of access to appropriate treatment protocols result in poorer health outcomes for African Americans and Hispanics.4

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Disparities in African Americans
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Disparities in Other Races and Ethnicities
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Click to view footnotes

1.“Health Disparities.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, November 24, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/disparities/index.htm#1 

2. Hill, L., Artiga, S., and Halder, S. “Key Facts on Health and Health Care by Race and Ethnicity.” Kaiser Family Foundation, January 26, 2022. https://www.kff.org/racial-equity-and-health-policy/report/key-facts-on-health-and-health-care-by-race-and-ethnicity/ 

3. “Myeloma.” American Cancer Society, Cancer Statistics Center, 2018, https://cancerstatisticscenter.cancer.org/?_ga=2.206522640.2020590099.1664383872-1499661037.1664383871#!/cancer-site/Myeloma 

4. Ailawadhi, Sikander et al. “Racial disparities in treatment patterns and outcomes among patients with multiple myeloma: a SEER-Medicare analysis.” Blood Advances, October 17, 2019, https://ashpublications.org/bloodadvances/article/3/20/2986/440965/Racial-disparities-in-treatment-patterns-and 


With educational support from:

Amgen, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Genentech, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen, Karyopharm Therapeutics, Oncopeptides, Sanofi, Takeda Oncology and The Binding Site

The IMF's Diversity, Education, and Inclusion Policy

The IMF's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policy strives to recognize, include, and treat all members of the myeloma community equally. It also defines health disparities and takes a deeper dive into how these disparities affect specific racial and ethnic groups. The IMF believes that all patients deserve equal access to care and treatments.

The IMF is committed to ending disparities in myeloma.
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