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Last Modified: September 6, 2007
Last Reviewed: September 6, 2007
Content Source:
Office of Minority Health & Health Disparities (OMHD)


Highlights in Minority Health
& Health Disparities
September/October, 2007
 

 

Hispanic/Latino Heritage Month, September 15 - October 15, 2007

 
 
grey square Introduction grey square Examples of Important Disparities
grey square For More Information grey square Sources

 

SEPTEMBER 15 - OCTOBER 15, 2007 
IS HISPANIC/LATINO HERITAGE MONTH
In September 1968, Congress authorized President Lyndon B. Johnson to proclaim National Hispanic Heritage Week. The observance was expanded in 1988 to a month long celebration (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15). America celebrates the culture and traditions of U.S. residents who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Sept. 15 was chosen as the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively.1
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) defines Hispanic or Latino as “a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.”  In data collection and presentation, federal agencies are required to use a minimum of two ethnicities: “Hispanic or Latino” and Not Hispanic or Latino.”  Starting with Census 2000, the OMB requires federal agencies to use a minimum of five race categories:

White;
Black or African American;
American Indian or Alaska Native;
Asian; and
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander. 2 
Hispanics/Latinos include any person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race. According to the 2004 U.S. Census Bureau population estimate, there are roughly 41.3 million Hispanics living in the United States. This group represents more than 13% of the U.S. total population. Among Hispanic subgroups, Mexicans rank as the largest at 66.9%. Following Mexicans are Central and South Americans (14.3%), Puerto Ricans (8.6%), Cubans (3.7%) and the remaining 6.5% are people of other Hispanic origins.  In 2002, 34.4% of Hispanics were under the age 18 in comparison to 22.8% of non-Hispanic Caucasians. Among Hispanics, Mexicans have the largest proportion of people under age 18, at 38%. States with the largest Hispanic populations are California (11 million), Texas (6.7 million), New York (2.9 million), Florida (2.6 million), and Illinois (1.5 million).3  

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EXAMPLES OF IMPORTANT DISPARITIES
In 2003, 34.7% of Hispanics/Latinos under age 65 lacked health care coverage, compared with 11.9% of non-Hispanic whites and about 16.5% of the total population.  Among Hispanic/Latino subgroups, Mexicans were least likely to be insured (37.8%), while Cubans were most likely to be insured (17.7%).4  Hispanic/Latina women were 1.8 times more likely to have late or no prenatal care (5.3%) than white women (3.0%).5
From 1998-2002, Hispanic/Latina women had an incidence rate for cancers of the cervix that was 1.8 times higher than that for white women (Hispanic/Latinas: 15.8 per 100,000 women; Whites: 8.7).  During the same period of time, Hispanics/Latinas also had a cervical cancer death rate that was 1.4 times higher than for white women (Hispanics/Latinas: 3.5 per 100,000 deaths; Whites: 2.5).6
In 2003, the HIV/AIDS death rate was 2.7 times higher for Hispanic/Latino males (9.2 per 100,000 population) than for non-Hispanic white males (3.4), and 4.5 times higher for Hispanic/Latina females (2.7) than for non-Hispanic white females (0.6).7
In 1999 the death rate for HIV was 32.7 per 100,000 for Puerto Ricans living on the mainland of the United States, higher than any other racial or ethnic group, more than six times the national average (5.4 per 100,000) and more than 13 times the rate for non-Hispanic whites (2.4).8
In 2002, influenza vaccination coverage among adults 65 years of age and older was 70.2% for whites and 46.7% for Hispanics/Latinos. The gap for pneumococcal vaccination coverage among older adults was even wider, with 60.6% for whites and 23.8% for Hispanics/Latinos.9

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In 2003, the diabetes death rate for Hispanics/Latinos (35.0 per 100,000 population) was 1.6 times higher than for non-Hispanic whites (22.1).10  Among Hispanics/Latinos, the diabetes death rate in 2000 was highest among Puerto Ricans (172), followed by the rates for Mexican Americans (122), and Cuban Americans (47).8
In 2002, the lifetime prevalence of asthma was 2.4 times higher for Puerto Ricans (196 per 1,000) compared to all Hispanics/Latinos (83) and 1.8 times higher than non-Hispanic whites (111).11
In men ages 20-74 years, Mexican Americans had a higher prevalence of overweight (74.1%) and obesity (29.0%) in 1999-2002 than non-Hispanic white men (69.5% overweight; 28.7% obese) or non-Hispanic black men (62.0% overweight; 27.9% obese).12
More than 11 million people reside along the U.S.-Mexico border.  The U.S. border region contains four of eight* of the poorest U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA).  Large population movement, limited public health infrastructure and poor environmental conditions contribute to increased risk for infectious diseases in the border region.13
In 2000, the rate of tuberculosis (TB) was 1.7 times higher along the U.S. side of the border (10.0 per 100,000) than in the entire U.S. (6.0).14
In 2000, the rate of Hepatitis A was 2.2 times higher along the U.S. side of the border (11.0 per 100,000) than in the entire U.S. (4.9).14
In 2000, the rate of Hepatitis B was 2.2 times higher along the U.S. side of the border (6.3 per 100,000) than in the entire U.S. (2.9).14

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FOR MORE INFORMATION
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)
Health Disparities Experienced by Hispanics-United States
National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)
Health of Hispanic/Latino Population
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP)
HIV/AIDS among Hispanics
Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities (OMHD)
Hispanic or Latino Populations (en Español)
Hispanic Health Program Fact Sheets   (en Español)
Hispanic/Latino News
Página Principal de la OMH
Populations Definitions   (en Español)
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
National Women’s Health Information Center (NWHIS)
Health Problems in Hispanic American / Latina Women
Office of Minority Health (OMH)
Hispanic/Latino Profile
National Latino AIDS Awareness Day: October 15
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
HIV/AIDS Bureau
Hispanics and HIV/AIDS
National Library of Medicine (NLM)
Medline Plus
Hispanic-American Health
United States-Mexico Border Health Commission
Health Border 2010: An Agenda for Improving Health on the United States-Mexico Border

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SOURCES
1. U.S. Census Bureau, Facts for Features: Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept 15-Oct 15, 2006
2. U.S. Census Bureau, Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin, 2000
3. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health, Hispanic/Latino Profile
4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Health United States, 2005, table 134
5. CDC, NCHS, Health United States, 2005, table 7
6. National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Cancer Institute (NCI), Cancer Health Disparities: Fact Sheet, 2005
7. CDC, NCHS, Health United States, 2005, table 42
8. CDC, Office of Communication (OC), Fact Sheet: Hispanic Health Disparities
9. CDC, OC, Racial/Ethnic Health Disparities, 2004
10. CDC, NCHS, Health United States, 2005, table 29
11. CDC, NCHS, Asthma Prevalence, Health Care Use and Mortality, 2002
12. CDC, NCHS, Health United States, 2005, table 73
13. CDC, Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities (OMHD), Hispanic Health program: Border Infectious Disease Surveillance (BIDS)
14. Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities (OMHD), Grantees Meeting, 2006
 
* The eight poorest counties are (in order from poorest to least poor):
       
1. Loup county, NE
        2. Arthur county, NE
        3. Mercer county, MO
        4.
Edwards county, TX
        5. Starr county, TX
        6.
Blaine county, NE
        7. Zavala county, TX
        8. Maverick county, TX


Bold indicates  Mexico border region.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, County and City Data Book: 2000. Table B-8

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