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NIH — Health Disparities Definition

About NIDA

In 2003, NIH clarified the definition of "health disparities" and provided a method for determining research that is appropriate to the definition. The NIH definition is as follows:

Health Disparities Research (HD) includes basic, clinical and social sciences studies that focus on identifying, understanding, preventing, diagnosing, and treating health conditions such as diseases, disorders, and other conditions that are unique to, more serious, or more prevalent in subpopulations in socioeconomically disadvantaged (i.e., low education level, live in poverty) and medically underserved, rural, and urban communities.

Overall health disparities research includes these components:

  • Minority health research and related activities
  • Rural health research and related activities
  • Research and other activities related to the socioeconomically disadvantaged in the urban setting

Featured Publication

Featured Publication

Drugs, Brains, and Behavior - The Science of Addiction

As a result of scientific research, we know that addiction is a disease that affects both brain and behavior.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH...Turning Discovery Into Health

National Institute on Drug Abuse   |   6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 5213   |   Bethesda, MD 20892-9561

Questions for our staff? E-mail information@nida.nih.gov or call 301-443-1124 (240-221-4007 en español).

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