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Health Disparities Framework

The NIA Health Disparities Research Framework showcases priorities and investments in this important aging research area. This page is designed to serve as a resource for scientists interested in investigating health disparities related to aging. The Framework outlines four key levels of analysis related to disparities research–environmental, sociocultural, behavioral, and biological—with priority focus areas in each level. As we continue to address the issue of disparities among older minority populations, the Framework will help assess which areas are most in need of additional research resources. Developing aging research studies that reflect the levels of analysis described in the framework can also shape evidenced-based interventions to help address, understand, and possibly end structural racism, discrimination, and health inequities. Using the Framework as a guide, NIA has awarded over $100 million in research awards since 2015 to explore the environmental, sociocultural, behavioral, and biological determinants of health disparities related to aging.

Peruse the Framework by clicking on its interactive components.

NIA Health Disparities Research Framework

Word cloud with terms like: health behaviors; education; inflammation; co-morbidities; cells; physical activity; stigma; immigration; bias; violence; and others.
  • Hispanics/Latinos
  • American Indians/Alaskan Natives
  • Blacks/African Americans
  • Asian Americans
  • Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders
  • Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Populations
  • Rural Populations
  • Disability Populations
  • Sexual and Gender Minorities

Lifecourse perspective definition: "The life course perspective or life course theory (LCT) is a multidisciplinary approach to understanding the mental, physical and social health of individuals, which incorporates both life span and life stage concepts that determine health trajectory and influence population-level health disparities. This approach encompasses ideas and observations from an array of academic and scientific disciplines, notably history, sociology, demography, economics, anthropology, psychology, physiology and biology."

An official website of the National Institutes of Health