Racial Disparities in Health Risk Indicators Reported by Alabamians Diagnosed with COPD

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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a growing public health problem in the southern United States, particularly in Alabama. However, very little is known about specific health risk factors disproportionately impacting Alabamians with COPD. We conducted a latent class analysis of 2015-2019 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data from 4057 Alabamians with COPD (White = 2947, Black = 873, Other = 237). Eighteen risk indicators were examined across three health-related domains: (1) comorbidities, (2) limited healthcare access, and (3) substance use/abuse. Racial disparities between Black and white Alabamians with COPD were assessed using configural similarity analysis. Findings showed that almost one-third (31%) of Alabamians with COPD were in the high-risk class for eight comorbidities, and nearly one-half (48.88%) belonged to the high-risk class for limited healthcare access. Black Alabamians with COPD who did not have health insurance were much more likely to be at high risk for limited healthcare access (94.44%) when compared to their counterparts with insurance (5.56%), chi(2)(df = 2) = 1389.94, p < 0.0001. Furthermore, the proportion of high-risk, uninsured Black Alabamians with COPD (94.44%) substantially exceeded the percentage of high-risk, uninsured white Alabamians with COPD (59.70%). Most Alabamians with COPD (82.97%) were at low risk for substance use/abuse. Future research should explore new mechanisms for facilitating better healthcare access among high-risk Alabamians living with COPD and other prevalent comorbidities. Greater attention should be focused on Black Alabamians with COPD who cannot afford adequate health insurance.

BRFSS, COPD, health risks, latent class modeling, Alabama, comorbidity, healthcare access, OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY-DISEASE, LATENT CLASS ANALYSIS, QUALITY-OF-LIFE, UNITED-STATES, RHEUMATOID-ARTHRITIS, OBESITY, COMORBIDITIES, PREVALENCE, PATTERNS, POPULATION, Environmental Sciences, Public, Environmental & Occupational Health
Stellefson, M., Wang, M.-Q., & Kinder, C. (2021). Racial Disparities in Health Risk Indicators Reported by Alabamians Diagnosed with COPD. In International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (Vol. 18, Issue 18, p. 9662). MDPI AG. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189662