International Health Disparities

International Health Disparities

Analyzing epidemiological data.

Based on the review of global health disparities across inter/intra national countries, analyze data by the use of epidemiological analytical methods to infer the factors or causes for these public health disparities. Select any three countries of your choice (one from a developed nation, a ‘second world’ country, and an underdeveloped third world country) and find epidemiological data such as fertility indicators (crude birth and death rates) and other health indicators. Provide an analysis among your three sample countries in a 3-5 page paper. Your writing should follow the conventions of Standard American English (correct grammar, punctuation, etc.) and APA style guidelines. Your work should be well ordered, logical and unified, as well as original and insightful. Your submission should display superior content, organization, style, and mechanics.



International Health Disparities

Public health disparities across races, gender, ethnic groups, and other populations is a significant concern in the modern world. Health disparities refer to preventable variances in the disease burden, violence, injury, and available opportunities to access optimum health. Health disparities are caused by a variable number of factors such as environmental factors, poverty, level of education and behavioral and individual factors, among others (National Center for Health Statistics, 2016). This paper analyses health disparity between developed, developing, and underdeveloped countries. The sample countries used in each case include the United States of America for developed countries, China, for strengthening or second world countries and Cuba for the third world or under-developed countries. Different health indicators provided by epidemiological data in the three countries will be used to determine the disparities and their possible causes.

Health indicators in the United States

According to the Nation Master, the total fertility rate in the United States is about 1.99 %. Hospital beds are approximately 3.3 in every 1000 people. Life expectancy in the United States is 76 years (NationMaster (APA), n.d). Life expectancy for women at birth is 81.1, while the total population life expectancy is 78 years. Physicians are rated to be 2.3 in every 100 people. The cost of the healthcare system is 45.82, while the quality of healthcare is about 69.02.

Health Indicators in China

Nation Master report that the total fertility rate in China is about 1.88, and the number of hospital beds per 1000 people is about 2.5.  The life expectancy for men is about 72 years, women 76 years and for the whole population 74 years (NationMaster (APA), n.d).  The number of physicians in every 1000 people is approximately 1.5, while the cost of health care is about 57. The quality of healthcare in China is about 62.

Health indicators in Rwanda

The total fertility rate in Rwanda is reported to be 1.8%, and the number of hospital beds per 1000 people is approximately 1.7. The life expectancy rate for males is 54 years, while that of women is 65 years (NationMaster (APA), n.d). The life expectancy rate for the total population is 58 years. The number of physicians per 1000 people is estimated to be 0.05. The cost of health is reported to be 72 while the quality of healthcare is 49.


From the health indicators data presented above, it is evident that health quality reduces depending on the level of a country’s development. The United States has the highest presents, the highest quality of health, followed by china and finally Rwanda. Rwanda is an African country which is one of the most under-developed countries across the globe. There are various causes of health disparities around the world which may include:

  1. The quality of education

Education is one of the most significant determinants of health quality in a country. In most of the developed countries such as the United States, high-quality education results in more competent health professionals who provide quality patient care, thus reducing the rates of death and other consequences of poor health (Woolf, 2017). Besides, the number of health professionals, such as physicians tends to be higher compared to those in the second and first world countries.

International Health Disparities

  1. Poverty

Poverty is also one of the leading causes of health disparities across the globe. Most countries in the third world c countries have high poverty levels that they are not able to afford the cost of quality healthcare (Woolf, 2017). Besides, poverty acts as a barrier to quality and enough health facilities and hospital beds. Also, poverty results in lack of enough medicine to treat various diseases (Woolf, 2017). As a result, less developed countries report the highest rate of mortality and morbidity.

  • Behavioral and individual behaviors

Individual behaviors in various countries are also some of the main causes of health disparities as they determine their life style and the probability of living a healthy life. Reports show that most people in the third world countries die due to conditions such as heart attack, respiratory diseases and obesity (Woolf, 2017. Most of these conditions are related to lack of adequate physical exercise. This can be linked to insufficient healthcare professionals to create awareness on the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle.

  1. Level of economic growth and development

Economic growth of a country determines the per capita income of people in that nation. In addition, the level of economic development determines the living standards of citizens in a country. Per capita income is one of the main determinants on whether an individual can afford quality medical services even if it means seeking them outside the country (Woolf, 2017. The level of living standards determines factors such as healthy diet and ample physical exercise. Therefore, countries in the first world have high quality of health compared to second and third world countries.

In conclusion, international health disparities mostly exist due to the level of development of nations. Developed countries have the highest living standards, where citizens can access quality healthcare and also live healthy lives in terms of diet. Also, first world countries have the highest quality of education that they can produce high-quality health practitioners who provide excellent services, thus reducing the mortality rate in the nation.



Nation Master. (n.d).”Health: China and United States compared”. Retrieved from

NationMaster. (n.d).”Health: Rwanda and United States compared”. Retrieved from

National Center for Health Statistics (US. (2016). Health, United States, 2015: with special feature on racial and ethnic health disparities.

Woolf, S. H. (2017). Progress in achieving health equity requires attention to root causes. Health Affairs36(6), 984-991.

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