Skip Navigation
NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine, Trusted Health Information from the National Institutes of Health

Health Disparities


April Is National Minority Health Month

2016 Theme: Accelerating Health Equity for the Nation

The Office of Minority Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services leads the observance of National Minority Health month each year. It joins with federal, state, tribal, local, and territorial partners across the country in calling for a renewed commitment to eliminate health disparities and achieve health equity. For more information, look for new resources and information about National Minority Health Month events, tool kits, social media content, partner and stakeholder events registry, and more at

Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death in the United States, and racial and ethnic minorities and individuals with lower socioeconomic status are strongly affected. Several large observational studies are examining the occurrence of cardiovascular disease and its association with biological, demographic, social, environmental, and genetic determinants of risk in minority populations.

  • Strong Heart Study (SHS) of American Indians
    The SHS is a study of cardiovascular disease and its risk factors among American Indian men and women supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) since Oct. 1, 1988, and is the largest epidemiologic study of American Indians ever undertaken
  • Jackson Heart Study of African Americans
    The mission of the Jackson Heart Study is to examine the reasons for the greater prevalence of cardiovascular disease among African Americans and uncover new approaches for reducing this health disparity.
  • Genetics of Coronary Artery Disease in Alaska Natives
    Although Alaska Native peoples were thought to be protected from cardiovascular disease, data now show that this is not the case, despite traditional lifestyles and high omega-3 fatty acid intake.
  • Hispanic Community Health Study of Americans of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, and Central American descent
    This multicenter epidemiologic study in Hispanic/Latino populations aims to determine the role of acculturation in the prevalence and development of disease, and to identify risk factors playing a protective or harmful role among Hispanics/Latinos.
  • Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)
    This study seeks to validate methods to detect cardiovascular disease before it has produced clinical signs and symptoms in African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, and Americans of European heritage.

Find Out More

Read More "Health Disparities" Articles

Health Disparities / What Are Disparities? / Research

Spring 2016 Issue: Volume 11 Number 1 Page 7