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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X


CHOR, Dóra  and  LIMA, Claudia Risso de Araujo. Epidemiologic aspects of racial inequalities in health in Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2005, vol.21, n.5, pp.1586-1594. ISSN 1678-4464.

In Brazil, data on education, the labor market, and the law enforcement and court systems have already documented that racial discrimination is a structural factor underlying economic and social disadvantages experienced by racial/ethnic minorities. However, racial inequalities in health have received little investigation. According to health indicators presented in this paper, race is a strong predictor of variability in mortality. Early mortality is more frequent among indigenous and black Brazilians; mortality rates from stroke and especially maternal mortality rates are exceedingly higher among black women; violence occurs predominantly among young black men. Lifetime socioeconomic differences across successive generations have been identified as the main cause of racial inequality in health. It is also suggested that racial discrimination and its impact on health are at the origin of these inequalities. Instruments to directly or indirectly measure the impact of racial discrimination on health are discussed. The article suggests that investigation of the impact of both social class and race on health is the most productive approach, both for research as well as for policies to address health inequalities.

Keywords : Prejudice; Ethnic Groups; Racial Discrimination.

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