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The many health disparities affecting Hispanics in the U.S.

A list of top reported disparities

Health disparities are a serious concern for one of the nation’s fastest growing minorities, and while many people understand how socioeconomic factors and limited access to insurance hinders the population, not everyone is aware of just how many health disparities affect the Hispanic community in the U.S.
 
Frequent reports from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Office of Minority Health (OMH) have outlined the health disparities faced by many Hispanics in the United States, and the OMH states health disparities can differ depending on a Latino’s country of origin.
 
What are some of the major health disparities Hispanics face?
  • Puerto Ricans have the highest numbers of asthma, HIV/AIDS and infant mortality cases.
  • Mexican Americans have the highest rates of diabetes.
  • Latinas are 2.3 times as likely to have late or no prenatal care when compared to non-Hispanic white women.
  • In the past, Hispanic women have shown the highest rates of cervical cancer, having a 1.6 times higher risk than non-Hispanic white women, a disparity directly attributed to lack of access and knowledge of preventative care.
  • The rate of HIV/AIDS deaths among Hispanic males in 2006 was 2.5 times that of non-Hispanic whites and three times that of Hispanic females.
  • Hispanics have the lowest rates of vaccination when compared to other demographics; when it comes to receiving the flu vaccination, only 40 percent of Hispanic over the age of 18 have been administered the inoculation compared to 52.7 percent of non-Hispanic whites.
  • Mexican-American men have a higher prevalence of obesity compared to non-Hispanic whites.
  • Mexican-Americans living along the border have an increased risk of infectious diseases due to limited public health infrastructure and poor living conditions. Past statistics have shown higher rates of tuberculosis and hepatitis is these regions.
  • A report from extra Two Languages Una Voz states Latinos, at 29 percent, have the largest percentage of total cases of tuberculosis in the country.
  • Latinos have the highest rates of lack of health insurance, with Mexican-Americans the least likely to carry insurance and Cuban-Americans the most likely to be insured. Uninsured Latinos account for approximately one-third of the entire uninsured U.S. population.
  • Hispanic females are three times more likely than non-Hispanic white females to have teenage pregnancies.
  • Mexican-Americans have the least success when it comes to controlling blood pressure.
  • Latinos have a higher risk of alcohol-related car accident fatalities.
  • Latinos report a larger incidence of opiate drug abuse when compared to  non-Hispanics admitted into rehabilitation centers.
CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, regarding the issues facing the Latino community, said in a report, “These problems must be addressed with intervention strategies related to both health and social programs, and more broadly, access to economic, educational, employment and housing opportunities.”
 
Those factors are being addressed through numerous OMH initiatives as well as by the provisions outlined in the Affordable Care Act.

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