Health is “the state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being.”
—The World Health Organization
Health outcomes influence the state of a person’s health either for good or bad. A combination of factors produces different health outcomes. Bad outcomes include conditions such as heart disease, asthma and obesity that reduce the quality of a person's overall health.
Health Outcomes and Disparities Infographic (PDF)
Some groups of people experience more illness and injury than others. These differences are called “health disparities.” Health disparities occur in many groups. These groups include people with different attributes such as race, age, economic status and ability.
One example of health disparity is the length of people’s lives. This is known as “life expectancy.” People living in adjacent Denver neighborhoods can have as much as a ten-year difference in life expectancy [Average Life Expectancy in Denver County (PDF)].
A health equity practice works to improve health outcomes and do away with health disparities. This requires that we understand all the factors that result in outcomes and disparities. The practice works to remove barriers to good health. It also requires that government agencies make the needs of communities that experience bad health outcomes and health disparities a priority.
For more information about health outcomes and health disparities please see the DDPHE Health Equity Presentation.