NEWS RELEASE: Wyoming Department of Health
Minority racial and ethnic groups in Wyoming experience a number of health-related challenges known as disparities, according to a new Wyoming Department of Health report.
The "Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Wyoming: 2012 Report" is the first comprehensive examination of health disparities in Wyoming and includes more than 30 health and related social indicators.
According to the report, health disparities are gaps in issues of health and healthcare services among distinct segments of the population. "These inequalities have no boundaries from state to state and can also vary by gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, education, income, disability or geographic location," the report explains.
In 2010, Wyoming's total population was 563,626, an increase of 14 percent from 493,782 in 2000. In 2010, more than 10 percent of Wyoming was Hispanic compared to 7.2 percent in 2000. The state's second largest non-white racial/ethnic group is American Indian.
"We're hoping this report serves as informative resource for major health indicators," said Lillian Zuniga, Office of Multicultural Health manager. "Wyoming may have a smaller minority population than many other states, but the health disparities described in this report are real."
According to the report:
Hispanics in Wyoming are more likely than non-Hispanics to:
American Indians in Wyoming are more likely than whites to:
Many of the same disparities are also experience by other racial/ethnic groups in Wyoming such as blacks, Asians and Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders.
Zuniga noted that socioeconomic status also affects health disparities. "Families with lower incomes often have limited access to healthcare because they may not have insurance or a primary care physician," she said. "A family struggling to make ends meet may find it difficult to make healthy eating habits and regular exercise a priority."
The full report is available online at http://www.health.wyo.gov/rfhd/multicultural/index.html.