Key health disparities to know for BIPOC communities

Inclusive Language Illustration

Key health disparities to know for BIPOC communities

Black patients have significantly higher rates of hypertension than the general population.

What you can do:

  • Educating patients on how their community is often affected by higher rates of hypertension and co-creating a plan to address risk factors.
  • Encouraging adherence to preventative care measures and regular, follow up care.
  • Helping Black patients “understand their numbers” like blood pressure and empowering them to monitor this with you.

American Indian or Alaska Native adults have the highest rate of diagnosed diabetes.

What you can do:

  • Providing understandable treatment options, with resources available for care and medication management (e.g. affordable insulin options).
  • Encouraging preventative measures and screenings for patients.
  • Creating greater support and understanding the patient's needs and barriers to seeking care.

Latinx patients have the highest uninsured rates of racial or ethnic group, which can lead to difficulty in accessing care and having resources to address medical and mental health conditions.

What you can do:

  • Acknowledging the difficulty some patients have in having health insurance, including financial and employment barriers.
  • Providing resources on low cost or free care, especially for preventative care and screenings.
  • Connecting patients to case managers and care navigators to help them navigate getting appropriate care and exploring options for health coverage.

Black adults had the highest prevalence of obesity (38.4%) amongst culturally diverse communities.

What you can do:

  • Educating patients on the disease risk related to obesity and encouraging preventative screenings and interventions.
  • Recommending evidence-based healthy weight or prediabetes management programs.

Only one out of three Black patients who need mental health care receive it.

What you can do:

  • Re-assessing professional practices to better align with core values of the patient’s background and not impose generalized treatment approaches.
  • Knowing culturally competent options for mental health services – both in-patient and out-patient – will help your patients.
  • Acknowledging that racial discrimination may contribute to hypervigilance, anxiety, depressive and trauma symptoms among Black patients.

Asian Americans have lowest rates of mental health service utilization among any racial or ethnic group.

What you can do:

  • Building trust and a therapeutic alliance over time will help patients feel more comfortable in the therapeutic setting.
  • Providing psychoeducation and mental health literacy resources can decrease the stigma of seeing a mental health clinician and increase trust in clinical care.

Things to consider.


Delivering inclusive healthcare can reengage culturally diverse patients in trusting the healthcare system and other clinicians. And, patients are going to make more health-positive choices if they have access to adequate support, empowerment, and education.


Approaching patients with strict instructions of what is “healthy” vs “unhealthy” or “high risk” vs “safe” behaviors, when discussing a patient’s coping skills, can cause patients to disengage with care and the health system.

Question to think about:

Are you self-reflecting and imaging the health journeys of your BIPOC patients?