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Supplement of the Journal of General Internal Medicine Uncovers New Facts About Health and Health Care Among U.S. Latinos: The issue offers nine studies examining hypertension, diabetes, health insurance coverage, discrimination, quality of care, spirituality, preventive care, and other topics.

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Publication Date: October 2009

Publisher(s): Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Topic: Health (Health services for minorities)

Type: Report

Abstract:

Chronic diseases among Latinos are on the rise and require long-range strategies to prevent and clinically manage. Understanding the health care of this fastest growing. The Network for Multicultural Research on Health and Healthcare has produced a special supplement of the Journal of General Internal Medicine examining Latinos and health care, shedding light on important issues that have been left out of the health care reform debate.

The Network, a consortium of researchers from major research institutions around the country, examines health care disparities affecting minorities with chronic diseases. It is operated through the UCLA Department of Family Medicine with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

This issue, Confronting Health Inequities in Latino Health Care, comprises nine studies examining hypertension, diabetes, health insurance coverage, discrimination, quality of care, spirituality, preventive care, and other topics on Latino health and health care.

Key findings:

* Two thirds of Mexican Americans in the U.S. do not have a “patient-centered medical home.” They are less likely to receive regular health care that meets basic standards for adequacy, either preventive or when they get sick. Consequently, they rely on emergency rooms or other high-cost health care to address basic health care needs.
* Forty-one percent of Mexican Americans with hypertension are unaware of their condition; 44 percent of those treated have uncontrolled hypertension.
* 75 percent of Mexican American women and 78 percent of men with hypertension are overweight or obese.
* U.S. Latinos with health insurance are 1.5 times more likely to report having excellent/good health care than their uninsured counterparts.
* Sixty percent of Latinos who are not U.S. citizens or are undocumented do not have health insurance.
* Nearly 70 percent of Latinos think spiritual healing is very important in maintaining health and well being.
* U.S.-born Latinos report higher rates of discrimination and lower quality of care than foreign-born Latinos.