Public Health Reports: Disparities in Health Effects and Access to Health Care Among Houston Area Residents After Hurricane Harvey

In a recent article in Public Health Reports, Mr. Aaron B. Flores and Drs. Timothy W. Collins and Sara E. Grineski of the University of Utah and Dr. Jayajit Chakraborty of the University of Texas at El Paso assessed disparities in physical health, mental health, and health care access after Hurricane Harvey among residents of the Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land, Texas, metropolitan statistical area (Houston MSA). Structured survey data collected through telephone and online surveys from a random sample of Houston MSA residents collected from November 29, 2017, through January 6, 2018 was used. Descriptive statistics was used to describe the prevalence of physical health/mental health and health care access outcomes and multivariable generalized linear models to assess disparities in health outcomes. Results indicated that physical health problems disproportionately affected persons who did not evacuate. Non-Hispanic Black persons were likelier than non-Hispanic White persons to have posttraumatic stress, as were persons in households that experienced job loss post-Harvey and older persons. Health care access was constrained for persons whose households lost jobs post-Harvey and for persons with disabilities. The authors concluded that there is a need to plan for and ameliorate public health disparities resulting from climate change–related disasters, which are expected to occur with increased frequency and magnitude.

Full article.

Published since 1878, Public Health Reports (PHR) is the official journal of the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General and the U.S. Public Health Service. It is published bimonthly, plus supplement issues, through an official agreement with the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health. The journal is peer-reviewed and publishes original research, reviews, and commentaries related to public health practice and methodology, public health law, and teaching at schools and programs of public health. Journal issues include regular commentaries by the U.S. Surgeon General and the executives of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health.

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