Special Issue "Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Chronic Conditions among Adults and Older Adults"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 February 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Assoc. Prof. Ronica N. Rooks
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Health and Behavioral Sciences, University of Colorado Denver, P.O. Box 173364, CB 188, Denver, CO 80217-3364, USA
Interests: aging; chronic conditions; health disparities; neighborhood environment; social determinants of health
Assoc. Prof. Cassandra D. Ford
Website
Guest Editor
Capstone College of Nursing, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487, USA
Interests: cardiovascular disease; health disparities; rural, underserved populations; aging
Assoc. Prof. Arlesia L. Mathis
Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Public Health, Florida A&M University, 1515 MLK Boulevard, Tallahassee, FL 32307, USA
Interests: health disparities; minority health; access to care; aging

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are organizing a Special Issue on “Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Chronic Conditions among Adults and Older Adults” in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. The venue is a peer-reviewed scientific journal that publishes articles and communications in the interdisciplinary area of environmental health sciences and public health. For detailed information on the journal, we refer you to https://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph. 

Chronic health conditions are defined as those conditions that last a year or more and require ongoing medical attention and/or limit activities of daily living. The number of adults with multiple chronic conditions (e.g., asthma, arthritis, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, depression, type II diabetes, heart disease, obesity, kidney disease, stroke, and cognitive and physical functioning difficulties) is growing in the United States of America (USA). The biggest contributor to the increased prevalence of chronic conditions in the USA is population aging, where people with chronic conditions use more healthcare and have higher risks of taking multiple medications, disability, and mortality. Chronic conditions are also the leading contributors to healthcare spending.

There is a disproportionate burden of chronic conditions among racial and ethnic minorities and adults and older adults with lower socioeconomic status. Pervasive racial and ethnic disparities in chronic conditions exist in the USA and other countries. Racial and ethnic minorities are likely to develop chronic conditions earlier in life, live with a higher number of chronic conditions, and are at greater risk of dying from their chronic conditions than White adults. However, we know less about the pathways or mechanisms connecting race and ethnicity to multiple chronic conditions, and there is a lack of longitudinal research on managing these conditions, or population-level interventions to address racial and ethnic disparities in chronic conditions. We encourage empirical research on race or ethnicity and chronic conditions, in the USA or internationally, using quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods which speak to the following topics (but not limited to these):

  • Incorporating the social determinants of health with biomedical frameworks.
  • Examining pathways linking individual, interpersonal, and/or structural determinants to chronic conditions.
  • Intersectionality of race or ethnicity with age, gender, socioeconomic status, place, sexuality, etc. as part of existing pathways influencing chronic conditions.
  • The prevalence of multiple chronic conditions or comorbidity and people’s experiences managing them (i.e., self-care and medical care).
  • Family health history influencing health behaviors related to chronic conditions.
  • Health information seeking and use behaviors related to chronic conditions.
  • Current or future health care workforce needs to provide the best care for patients with chronic conditions.
  • Creating prevention, intervention, and/or policy solutions to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in chronic conditions.

This Special Issue will be edited by a team of researchers working at the intersections of race, ethnicity, and chronic conditions from the social sciences, public health, nursing, and gerontology: Associate Professor Ronica N. Rooks (University of Colorado Denver; [email protected]), Associate Professor Cassandra D. Ford (The University of Alabama; [email protected]), and Associate Professor Arlesia Mathis (Florida A&M University; [email protected]). Please email Drs. Rooks, Ford, or Mathis to indicate your interest in submitting a manuscript or for more information.

Authors are invited to submit abstracts related to the topic areas described above. The Guest Editors will review all abstracts to assess topic appropriateness and scientific rigor. Authors of high-scoring abstracts will be invited to submit a complete manuscript for anonymous peer review by the Guest Editors and additional peer reviewers. Please submit a 400 word structured abstract for initial review.

Assoc. Prof. Ronica N. Rooks
Assoc. Prof. Cassandra D. Ford
Assoc. Prof. Arlesia L. Mathis
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Race or ethnicity
  • Chronic conditions
  • Comorbidity
  • Adults, middle-aged, or older adults
  • Social determinants of health
  • Inequalities or inequities
  • Prevention or intervention
  • Policy
  • Intersectionality
  • Health care access

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Neighborhood Disadvantage Is Associated with Depressive Symptoms but Not Depression Diagnosis in Older Adults
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(16), 5745; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17165745 - 08 Aug 2020
Abstract
Disadvantaged neighborhood environments may have low access to healthcare, perpetuating health disparities. Previous research has reported on associations between neighborhood disadvantage (ND) and depressive symptomology but not depression diagnoses, which may indicate access to healthcare. This study tested how ND relates to depressive [...] Read more.
Disadvantaged neighborhood environments may have low access to healthcare, perpetuating health disparities. Previous research has reported on associations between neighborhood disadvantage (ND) and depressive symptomology but not depression diagnoses, which may indicate access to healthcare. This study tested how ND relates to depressive symptomology and diagnosis to assess for neighborhood disparities in mental health care cross-sectionally. Data from 998 community-dwelling, Black and White individuals aged 65+ included in the University of Alabama at Birmingham Study of Aging were analyzed. We obtained participants’ depressive symptomology from the Geriatric Depression Scale (n = 100) and a verified depression diagnosis from self-report and review of medication, physician-report, and/or hospital discharge summaries (n = 84). We assessed ND from US Census data, divided the sample into tertiles of ND and fit models with Generalized Estimating Equations covarying for various other variables (e.g., sex, race, physical performance, socioeconomic status, etc.). We found living in the high and mid-ND tertiles to be associated with depressive symptomology, yet ND had no significant relation to depression diagnosis. Therefore, older adults living in high and mid-disadvantaged neighborhoods may be more likely to experience depressive symptomology but not receive a diagnosis, indicating a possible disparity in mental health care. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Prevalence of Multimorbidity among Asian Indian, Chinese, and Non-Hispanic White Adults in the United States
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(9), 3336; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17093336 - 11 May 2020
Abstract
Asian Americans are the fastest-growing minority group in the United States, yet little is known about their multimorbidity. This study examined the association of Asian Indians, Chinese and non-Hispanic whites (NHWs) to multimorbidity, defined as the concurrent presence of two or more chronic [...] Read more.
Asian Americans are the fastest-growing minority group in the United States, yet little is known about their multimorbidity. This study examined the association of Asian Indians, Chinese and non-Hispanic whites (NHWs) to multimorbidity, defined as the concurrent presence of two or more chronic conditions in the same individual. We used a cross-sectional design with data from the National Health Interview Survey (2012–2017) of Asian Indians, Chinese, and NHWs (N = 132,666). Logistic regressions were used to examine the adjusted association of race/ethnicity to multimorbidity. There were 1.9% Asian Indians, 1.8% Chinese, and 96.3% NHWs. In unadjusted analyses (p < 0.001), 17.1% Asian Indians, 17.9% Chinese, and 39.0% NHWs had multimorbidity. Among the dyads, high cholesterol and hypertension were the most common combination of chronic conditions among Asian Indians (32.4%), Chinese (41.0%), and NHWs (20.6%). Asian Indians (AOR = 0.73, 95% CI = (0.61, 0.89)) and Chinese (AOR = 0.63, 95% CI = (0.53, 0.75)) were less likely to have multimorbidity compared to NHWs, after controlling for age, sex, and other risk factors. However, Asian Indians and Chinese were more likely to have high cholesterol and hypertension, risk factors for diabetes and heart disease. Full article
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