African Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities experience poorer health relative to national averages from birth to death-in the form of higher infant mortality, higher rates of disease and disability, and shortened life expectancy. These health inequities carry an enormous human and economic toll for the nation, and therefore have important consequences for all Americans. Some of these health inequities are related to inadequate access to health care and inequitable treatment in health care systems. Others stem from conditions in which people live, work, and play, and differences in neighborhood conditions.

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