Minnesota battles 'structural racism' in health equality, report says

Learning about health care choices
Asli Ashkir, who heads Somali Health Solutions, set up a table to pitch health insurance at the Somali 24 Mall and mosque in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis.
Catherine Richert / MPR News

A sweeping report that details widespread health inequities in Minnesota is due to the state Legislature Feb. 1. Report authors blame the disparities on "structural racism" and recommend an overhaul of the state's approach to health to address inequality among racial and ethnic groups.

"We need to be able to have conversations about some of the tough things that are keeping us from being healthy," state Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger told MPR News.

Some of the report's facts, courtesy of the MPR News report:

• African-American men are more likely to die from prostate cancer than white men.

• American Indians have much higher rates of diabetes than whites; Latinos are much more likely than whites to die from diabetes.

• Stroke deaths are significantly higher among African-American, American Indian and Asian populations compared to whites.

• American Indian, Latino, and African-American youth have the highest rates of obesity.

• African-American and Latina women are more likely to be diagnosed with later-stage breast cancer.

On The Daily Circuit, we look at the most concerning health disparities in the state and how officials hope to close the gap.

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