The health of Hispanics in the southwestern United States

An epidemiologic paradox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

635 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent reports in the literature on the health status of southwestern Hispanics, most of whom are Mexican Americans, are reviewed critically. The review is organized into the following sections: infant mortality, mortality at other ages, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, other diseases, interview data on physical health, and mental health. Despite methodological limitations of much of the research, it can be concluded with some certainty that the health status of Hispanics in the Southwest is much more similar to the health status of other whites than that of blacks although socioeconomically, the status of Hispanics is closer to that of blacks. This observation is supported by evidence on such key health indicators as infant mortality, life-expectancy, mortality from cardiovascular diseases, mortality from major types of cancer, and measures of functional health. On other health indicators, such as diabetes and infectious and parasitic diseases, Hispanics appear to be clearly disadvantaged relative to other whites. Factors explaining the relative advantages or disadvantages of Hispanics include cultural practices, family supports, selective migration, diet, and genetic heritage. The recently completed Hispanic Health and Nutrition Examination Survey will go a long way to provide answers to many questions regarding the health of Hispanics in the Southwest or elsewhere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-265
Number of pages13
JournalPublic Health Reports
Volume101
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1986

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Southwestern United States
Hispanic Americans
Health
Health Status
Infant Mortality
Mortality
Cardiovascular Diseases
Parasitic Diseases
Family Practice
Nutrition Surveys
Vulnerable Populations
Life Expectancy
Communicable Diseases
Neoplasms
Mental Health
Interviews
Diet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

The health of Hispanics in the southwestern United States : An epidemiologic paradox. / Markides, Kyriakos; Coreil, J.

In: Public Health Reports, Vol. 101, No. 3, 1986, p. 253-265.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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