Syn: inequalities. Differing levels of health indicators, such as life expectancy and infant and perinatal mortality rates, that are observed among segments of a population, discernible in the size of the health gap between the highest and the lowest segment of the population, that often correlate with economic indicators, educational level, employment, and housing conditions. Disparities in health were recognized as a challenge to public health systems and services by the English medical statistician William Farr. They have provided incentives for initiatives aimed at improving living conditions and health status for deprived communities, such as ethnic minority groups in upper-income countries, and for international nongovernmental organizations in low-income countries.
Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.