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Muslim patients and health disparities in the UK and the US
  1. Lance D Laird1,
  2. Mona M Amer2,
  3. Elizabeth D Barnett1,
  4. Linda L Barnes1
  1. 1
    Boston University School of Medicine, Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA
  2. 2
    Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA
  1. Lance D Laird, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston Medical Center, 91 E Concord St, Rm 4217, Boston, MA 02118, USA; lance.laird{at}


This article provides a framework for understanding how Muslim identity, and the current social and political contexts in which it is shaped, affects the health of Muslims in the UK and the US, and the quality of health care they receive. Key medical and public health literature that addresses health concerns related to Muslim communities in the UK and the US is reviewed. Few data exist specific to health disparities for Muslim minorities. However, the article focuses on emerging studies concerning the consequences of “Islamophobia” for the physical and mental health and health care of Muslim families and children. We argue that, despite substantive structural differences in the health care systems of the UK and the US, social structural and political forces play similar roles in the health of Muslim children in both countries. Finally, we call for significant cultural and institutional adjustments in health care settings and further research studies to provide specific data to address health disparities for these growing and diverse populations.

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  • Competing interests: None declared.