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Health disparities among Hispanic/Latino immigrant workers in the United States: findings from the greater Cincinnati health survey.

Eggerth-DE; Turner-S
Book of Abstracts. Globalization and Equity: Consequences for Health Promotion Policies and Practices. 7th IUHPE European Conference on Health Promotion and Health Education, 18-21 October 2006, Budapest, Hungary. Budapest, Hungary: National Institute for Health Development, 2006 Oct; :52-53
Background: In the past, most Latin Americans immigrating to the United States for employment settled in areas that had existing Hispanic/Latino communities. However, in the last decade, areas of the United States that have not historically been destinations for these immigrants have experienced explosive growth in their Hispanic/Latino populations. Hispanic/Latino immigrants in these areas face many significant ch911enges related to the lack of an established Hispanic community. Public health agencies in these areas were virtually unprepared to cope with the sudden influx of Spanish-speaking immigrants. Although epidemiological studies suggest the existence of significant health disparities within this immigrant population, little exists in the literature to guide community-level public health interventions in these new destination areas, Aims: This paper will present the findings of public health research conducted in a new destination city comparing samples of recent Hispanic/Latino immigrants with a sample of non-Hispanic residents. Methods: In 2005, The Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati, in collaboration with researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and the University of Cincinnati, collected data from a convenience sample of nearly 500 Hispanic/Latino immigrants at a local Hispanic/Latino festival that typically draws between 20,000 and 30,000 attendees. This sample represents approximately 1% of the Greater Cincinnati area's estimated Hispanic/Latino population. The study participants were administered a survey touching upon the following areas: demographics, language fluency, acculturation, personal health, employment, and occupational safety and health. In that same year, The Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati also conducted a similar survey of over 2000 non-Hispanic households living in the same area. Results: Analysis of the data indicated that over 90% pf the Hispanic/Latino immigrants have arrived since 1987 and nearly 60% since 2000. Most reported a low level of acculturation with approximately 80% reporting a preference for Hispanic/Latino social environments and the Spanish language. Slightly over 13% of the sample reported being injured on the job and almost 30% reported receiving no occupational safety training. When compared with the non-Hispanic household sample, the Hispanic/Latino respondents reported lower or similar rates of chronic physical conditions. However, approximately half of the larger community sample was over the age of 45, while almost 85% of the immigrant sample was under that age. Members of the immigrant sample were only half as likely to currently have any kind of healthcare coverage as those from the non-immigrant sample and were nearly 4 times as likely to have had an interruption in such coverage in the last year. These and other findings will be discussed in relation to current National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health studies that are investigating ways to better meet the public health needs of Hispanic/Latino immigrant workers. Conclusions: The evidence for significant health disparities in this Hispanic/Latino immigrant sample was not as clear as might be expected given the findings from other studies. However, the Hispanic/ Latino immigrant sample was significantly younger than the non-immigrant sample. Regardless of the ameliorating effects of age, over 1 in 10 Hispanic/Latino immigrants reported being injured on the job while in the United States, many reported receiving no safety training and they were far less likely to have healthcare coverage than members of the non-immigrant sample. Finally, the low levels of acculturation suggest that public health agencies will face considerable challenges reaching these individuals.
Racial-factors; Injury-prevention; Accident-prevention; Safety-research; Statistical-analysis; Epidemiology; Questionnaires
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Work Environment and Workforce: Special Populations; Construction
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Book of Abstracts. Globalization and Equity: Consequences for Health Promotion Policies and Practices. 7th IUHPE European Conference on Health Promotion and Health Education, 18-21 October 2006, Budapest, Hungary.
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division