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Beware of Unawareness: Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Awareness of Chronic Diseases

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  • Pinka Chatterji
  • Heesoo Joo
  • Kajal Lahiri

Abstract

This paper studies racial/ethnic disparities in awareness of chronic diseases using biomarker data from the 2006 HRS. We estimate a 3-step sequential probit model which accounts for selection into: (1) participating in biomarker collection; (2) having illness (hypertension or diabetes); (3) being aware of illness. Contrary to studies reporting that African-Americans are more aware of having hypertension than non-Latino whites, we do not find this conclusion holds after self-selection and severity are considered. Likewise, African-Americans and Latinos are less aware of having diabetes compared to non-Latino whites. Disparities in unawareness are exacerbated when we limit the sample to untreated respondents.

Suggested Citation

  • Pinka Chatterji & Heesoo Joo & Kajal Lahiri, 2010. "Beware of Unawareness: Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Awareness of Chronic Diseases," NBER Working Papers 16578, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16578
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Johnston, David W. & Propper, Carol & Shields, Michael A., 2009. "Comparing subjective and objective measures of health: Evidence from hypertension for the income/health gradient," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 540-552, May.
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    3. Amitabh Chandra & Jonathan Skinner, 2003. "Geography and Racial Health Disparities," NBER Working Papers 9513, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    7. Morenoff, Jeffrey D. & House, James S. & Hansen, Ben B. & Williams, David R. & Kaplan, George A. & Hunte, Haslyn E., 2007. "Understanding social disparities in hypertension prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control: The role of neighborhood context," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(9), pages 1853-1866, November.
    8. Harding, Don & Pagan, Adrian, 2002. "Dissecting the cycle: a methodological investigation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 365-381, March.
    9. Cutler, David M. & Lleras-Muney, Adriana, 2010. "Understanding differences in health behaviors by education," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-28, January.
    10. Anna Aizer & Laura Stroud, 2010. "Education, Knowledge and the Evolution of Disparities in Health," NBER Working Papers 15840, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Balsa, Ana I. & McGuire, Thomas G., 2001. "Statistical discrimination in health care," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 881-907, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Chatterji, P & Joo, H & Lahiri, K, 2011. "Beware of Being Unaware: Racial Disparities in Chronic Illness in the US," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 11/11, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    2. Wuppermann, Amelie Catherine, 2011. "Empirical Essays in Health and Education Economics," Munich Dissertations in Economics 13187, University of Munich, Department of Economics.

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    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health

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