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Advancing understanding of racial and ethnic inequalities in injury research
  1. Keshia M Pollack1,2,3,
  2. Thomas LaVeist1,3
  1. 1Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  2. 2Center for Injury Research and Policy, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA; SAVIR Board Member
  3. 3Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Keshia M Pollack, 624, N Broadway, Room 557, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA; kpollack{at}jhsph.edu

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In this column, we describe the need for those working in injury research and control to draw on important knowledge gained in recent years in the area of health inequalities/disparities if we are to alleviate racial and ethnic inequalities in injury.

Health inequalities were once incorrectly believed to result from genetic and biological differences between race groups. As health research evolved and evidence of meaningful genetic or biological race differences failed to materialise, scholars began to identify socioeconomic status (SES) as the primary reason for health inequalities. This notion too was incorrect. Today it is widely recognised that social determinants (eg, poverty, education and environment) substantially contribute to health risks and outcomes.1 This is not a novel idea among injury researchers. However, the realisation of the impact of social determinants on health has begun to infiltrate the broader public health community. But what about research on race disparities? Does the social environment offer an explanation for race inequities? Would ‘place’ trump race in determining outcomes?

Recently, we tested this idea by conducting a study of …

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