Health disparities in allergic and immunologic conditions in racial and ethnic underserved populations: A work group report of the AAAAI committee on the underserved.
Davis CM, Apter AJ, Casillas A, et al. Health disparities in allergic and immunologic conditions in racial and ethnic underserved populations: a work group report of the aaaai committee on the underserved. J Allergy Clin Immunol. Published online March 10, 2021 doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2021.02.034.
Health disparities are health differences linked with economic, social and environmental disadvantage. They adversely affect groups that have systematically experienced greater social or economic obstacles to health. Renewed efforts are needed to reduced health disparities in the US, highlighted by the disparate impact on racial minorities during the coronavirus pandemic. Institutional or systemic patterns of racism are promoted and legitimated through accepted societal standards and organizational processes within the field of medicine and contribute to health disparities. Herein, we review current evidence regarding health disparities in allergic rhinitis, asthma, atopic dermatitis, food allergy, drug allergy, and primary immune deficiency disease in racial and ethnic underserved populations. Best practices to address these disparities involve addressing social determinants of health and adopting policies to improve access to specialty care and treatment for the underserved through telemedicine and community partnerships, cross cultural provider training to reduce implicit bias, inclusion of underserved patients in research, implementation of culturally competent patient education, and recruitment and training of healthcare providers from underserved communities. Addressing health disparities requires a multi-level approach involving patients, health providers, local agencies, professional societies and national governmental agencies.