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Health Equity

An equitable healthcare system would enable every person to have an opportunity to live a healthy and prosperous life. Unfortunately, people can be disadvantaged from living a healthy life because of circumstances outside of their control. People in the United States experience differences in life expectancy, rates of disease, disability, severity of illness, and access to treatment because of their racial and ethnic group, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, education level, geography, and age. Disparities of health result when some groups have fewer opportunities and resources than others. Often, inequities in the healthcare system result from institutional and structural designs as opposed to conscious or intentional bias.

The Alliance for Aging Research seeks to promote public policies that remove the obstacles toward all older adults leading healthy lives. The Alliance is actively involved in combating methodologies that discriminate against people because of their age or disability status and use people living with chronic conditions to create coverage decisions and determine access to high-quality healthcare. For example, the Alliance ensures that discriminatory metrics such as the quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) are not used in federal healthcare decision-making. This metric reinforces healthcare inequities by devaluing health services for older adults, people with a disability, and communities of color. 

Additionally, the Alliance advocates for policies that include adequate representation of older adults and communities of color in clinical development. Clinical trials can often have exclusionary criteria that prohibit a person’s participation because of their age or the presence of comorbidity. These exclusions can make the benefit and risks of specific medical treatments unclear for excluded populations.

We also encourage you to visit the National Institute on Aging’s Health Disparities Framework web page. This page is a resource for people who want to learn more or become involved in investigating health disparities related to aging. 

Health Equity News & Updates

The Healthy Aging Blog on Health Equity

Portrait of Eric Larson.

This is Growing Old: Improving the Current Body of Evidence on Dementia Care with Dr. Eric Larson

Portrait of C. Grace Whiting.

Blog: Caring for Caregivers During COVID-19

Young woman pushing elderly man in wheelchair outside.

Recognizing Family Caregivers Everywhere

The Honorable Kelly Ayotte speaking at Alliance for Aging Research 2015 Annual Dinner.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte on the Value of NIH and Caregivers

Ways to Give

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