Health Issues in the Latino Community / Edition 1

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By the year 2010 it is projected that Latinos will be the largest ethnic group in the United States. Yet access to culturally responsive health care services is very limited or not available to this burgeoning population. If the United States is to meet the myriad challenges of the new century, it must address the health concerns of its fastest growing population the Latino community. Sweeping in scope, Health Issues in the Latino Community identifies and offers an in-depth examination of the most critical health issues that affect Latinos' health and health care within the United States. While most books on the topic focus on one aspect of Latino health, this resource offers a comprehensive approach that informs and promotes the advancement of the practice, program planning, research, and public policy to improve the health care of all Latino citizens. Written by an outstanding group of Latino scholars, practitioners, researchers, and policy leaders, this valuable handbook examines a wide variety of topics including health care for immigrants, the role of managed care, substance abuse within the community, and HIV prevention. Health Issues in the Latino Community stresses the need for responsive health care policies and offers the current thinking on the most relevant health, lifestyle, and policy issues. Comprehensive in scope the book includes a? Review of the special health needs of Latinos from birth through the golden years? Summary of the changes in the health care market and how they affect Latino clients—Analysis of empirical data on the mental health of Latinos? Description of the risk factors and patterns of chronic diseases within the community? Review of the occupational diseases among urban and rural workersHealth care providers, researchers, educators, students, and policy makers will find Health Care Issues in the Latino Community to be a relevant and useful guide to the health and well-being of our country's fastest growing population. The EditorsMarilyn Aguirre-Molina is professor of public health at the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York City. She has served as the executive vice president of the California Endowment and as senior program officer at The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.Carlos W. Molina is professor of community health education at York College of the City University of New York. He has served as the executive director of Lincoln Hospital in New York.Ruth Enid Zambrana is professor of women's studies at the University of Maryland. She was the Elisabeth Shirley Enochs Professor of Child Welfare, Social Work Program at George Mason University.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Latinos are the fastest growing group in America. Though theyshare many health issues with all Americans, they also possessdistinct cultural characteristics, expectations, and illnessprofiles. It will be a rare clinician who will not encounter Latinopatients in daily practice. Thus, Health Issues in the LatinoCommunity should be essential reading for all 21st centurypractitioners" (Steven A. Schroeder, M.D., president and CEO, TheRobert Wood Johnson Foundation)

"This important book, by a cadre of leading Latino researchers,policy leaders, and practitioners, could not be more timely. Itfills a crucial gap in our understanding of the health andwell-being of Latinos, the fastest growing, and soon to be thelargest, ethnic/racial group in the United States. Thiscomprehensive analysis of the demographic and health status ofLatino populations in the United States is a groundbreaking pieceof work. It will make an invaluable contribution to informing thenation's Latino health agenda." (Allan Rosenfield, M.D., DeLamarProfessor and dean, Mailman School of Public Health, ColumbiaUniversity)

"Health Issues in the Latino Community attempts to address the keyand crucial health issues that affect Latino's health. As we enterthe 21st century, Latinos are becoming the largest ethnic/racialgroup in the United States. Anyone desiring insight on Latinohealth issues will find this book to be a comprehensive reference."(Nathan Stinson, Jr., M.D., Deputy Assistant Secretay for MentalHealth)

"The Contributors are outstanding and well-known professionals,researchers, and policymakers, many holding both clinical andacademic degrees." (Divine Inc (formerly Doody Publishing),4/13/02)

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Linda C. Baumann, PhD, RN, CS, FAAN (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Description: This is a reference source for information on multiple dimensions of the health and health status of Latinos, who will comprise 50 percent of the total U.S. population by 2050 and in 2000 were the largest ethnic/racial group in this country. This second edition incorporates more data sources that include ethnic identifiers; changes in immigration laws; demographic trends; and the presence of managed care and its impact on Latinos. The first edition appeared in 1994.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a profile of the demographics and health status of subgroups of Latino populations. The authors describe and analyze key issues related to research, policy and program development. The goal is to provide a "whole picture" of Latinos in the U.S. The objectives are effectively met and the book fills a need to provide a comprehensive review of Latino health status.
Audience: The book will serve as an excellent reference for students, professionals, academicians, policymakers, and health advocates who have an interest in Latino health and in health objectives targeted in Healthy People 2010. The contributors are outstanding and well-known professionals, researchers, and policymakers, many holding both clinical and academic degrees.
Features: The book is divided into six parts that address the following aspects of Latino health: 1) a review of Latino populations in the U.S.; 2) life stages and health; 3) patterns of chronic disease; 4) occupational health and workforce; 5) alcohol, tobacco and other drug use; and 6) interventions to address the needs of the Latino community. Separate chapters devoted to such major health issues as diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease each provide an in-depth and critical examination of these conditions. One issue the book examines is the epidemiological paradox in Latino health, reflected by high poverty but favorable infant mortality and low birth rates.
Assessment: Compared to other books on this issue, this one is far more comprehensive and more effectively integrates theory, population data, and policy issues into one reference. In the final chapter the authors reflect on how little progress has been made in Latino health indicators over the past decade beyond more documentation of morbidity and mortality patterns. What is missing from governmental policy studies on Latinos are recommendations for strategic implementation plans or mention of a policy agenda to guide policy development.
Presents a review of the health and health status of Latinos living in the US. Offers a demographic and health status profile of Latino populations in the US by subgroup, then describes and assesses the issues affecting the health of Latinos including chronic disease, occupational health, and use of drugs, including alcohol and tobacco. Research needs, policy issues, and implications for programs and practices are identified and discussed. The final chapter proposes a new health agenda for Latinos. Of likely interest to health care providers, researchers, educators, students, and policy makers. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

4 Stars! from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787953157
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 5/28/2001
  • Series: Public Health/Vulnerable Populations Series, #8
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 528
  • Sales rank: 919,489
  • Product dimensions: 7.36 (w) x 10.12 (h) x 1.66 (d)

Meet the Author

MARILYN AGUIRRE-MOLINA is professor of public health at the MailmanSchool of Public Health, Columbia University, New York City. Shehas served as the executive vice president of the CaliforniaEndowment and as senior program officer at The Robert Wood JohnsonFoundation.

CARLOS W. MOLINA is professor of community health education at YorkCollege of the City University of New York. He has served as theexecutive director of Lincoln Hospital in New York.

RUTH ENID ZAMBRANA is professor of women's studies at theUniversity of Maryland. She was the Elisabeth Shirley EnochsProfessor of Child Welfare, Social Work Program at George MasonUniversity.

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Read an Excerpt

This book represents a second effort to place between two covers a comprehensive and integrated review of the health and health status of Latinos living in the United States. Our earlier book, Latino Health in the United States: A Growing Challenge (1994), was and continues to be the first effort of its kind. Since that time, several developments have occurred. These developments provide the basis for a book that provides current analyses of events affecting the health of Latinos.

Among recent developments are

  • The increase in data sources that include ethnic identifiers and enable the inclusion of more and accurate data in this book.
  • Changes in the health care market and the strong presence of managed care, which are affecting Latinos.
  • Changes in federal immigration and welfare policies that have implication for the health and well-being of Latinos.
  • Demographic changes that result in Latinos becoming the largest ethnic or racial group in the nation.

The purpose of the book is to

  • Provide a profile--demographic and health status--of Latino populations in the United States by subgroup.
  • Describe and analyze key issues affecting the health and health care of Latinos.
  • Identify research needs, policy issues, and/or implications for programs and practice.
  • Stimulate thinking on viable actions to address the needs of Latinos.

Very often books on Latino health focus on one aspect of their condition, such as mental health, women's health, drug abuse, and so on. While these efforts make important contributions to an understanding of the community's health needs, they often do not provide the reader with the "whole picture" or complete profile of Latinos. This book strives toward that end. It addresses key and critical health issues that affect Latinos' health so as to inform practice, program planning, research, and policy--good health policy and programs evolve from good information.

The book is divided into six parts. The first part, Latino Populations in the United States, defines Latinos and summarizes key health status indicators. Chapter One provides sociodemographic information and describes changes within the Latino community as it raises critical questions for the reader's consideration. It also provides an economic and demographic profile of Latinos by subgroups, with analyses of changing demographic patterns and their implications for the health and health care systems. The second chapter provides an overview of current available data sets as well as a discussion of the persistent lack of data on Latinos. The data on morbidity and mortality indicators (for children and adults) are summarized and the factors that influence their health status presented (including socioeconomic status, insurance coverage, and behavioral risk factors). Chapter Three looks at the changes in the health care market that are affecting consumers in numerous ways with regard to access to care and the quality of care rendered. This chapter describes and analyzes these changes as they affect Latinos. Special attention is given to issues such as the effects of managed care, devolution, insurance rates among Latinos, health care for immigrants, and so on.

Part Two, entitled Latino Life Stages and Health, reviews the special health needs of Latinos from birth through the golden years. In Chapter Four the authors review the available data on the health of Latino children and youth, ages zero to eighteen. They include an overview of access to care, preventive care (such as immunization), acute and chronic illnesses, intentional and unintentional injury, and infant health issues. Morbidity and mortality indicators for infants, children, and youth by subgroup and gender are also presented. The following chapters address the health status of Latinas with a focus on maternal and child health. Chapter Five examines behaviors during the prenatal period across groups and the influence of a number of socioeconomic variables, cultural factors, and the systems of care used by Latinas. The sixth chapter examines the health and social status of elderly Latinos with a particular emphasis on risk and protective factors, as well as the socioeconomic and sociocultural factors that affect their well-being. The last chapter in Part Two reviews and analyzes the empirical data on the mental health of Latinos. The authors review sociocultural factors, migration, and acculturation, among others, and their influence on diagnostic and treatment processes. They also present the limitations of existing research and identify areas in need of inquiry.

Part Three, Patterns of Chronic Diseases Among Latinos, reviews chronic conditions as they affect Latinos. The four chapters deal independently with cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and HIV/AIDS. Each chapter compares morbidity and mortality patterns across ethnic racial groups and describes their corresponding risk factors. The socioeconomic and sociocultural factors that play a role in each disease are also presented.

The two chapters in Part Four, Occupational Health and the Latino Workforce, examine data on the rates of occupational disease among urban and rural Latino workers who are employed in various industries and work settings. Chapter Thirteen on rural health goes beyond the health of workers in rural settings and examines the overall conditions of Latinos living in rural communities.

The fifth part, Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Use Among Latinos, contains three chapters that provide a comprehensive review of empirical studies describing patterns of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use among Latinos. Each chapter examines the social, cultural, and other risk factors that influence specific drug use among Latinos. Chapter Fourteen presents public policy and other programmatic interventions for addressing alcohol problems. Chapter Fifteen analyzes the recent tobacco settlements and how it might affect Latinos. Drug use and its effect on Latino adults and youth is the focus of Chapter Sixteen.

Part Six brings the book to a close with a discussion of policy and programmatic interventions that are needed to address the needs of the Latino community.

Please note that the term "Latino" is used throughout this book instead of "Hispanic." Nevertheless, the reader should be aware of the fact that much epidemiological data have been collected using "Hispanic" as the operational label. For a discussion of these issues see Hayes-Bautista and Chapa (1987) and Treveno, 1987.

As we progress into the new millennium, our nation is on the cusp of a massive demographic transformation. Latinos are central to these changes. If our nation is to remain a productive leader of industrialized nations, then it cannot ignore the health and well-being of one of its largest and youngest population groups. If Latinos are not healthy, participating members of American society, then we all suffer as a nation. It is the humble desire of the editors of this publication that the materials contained herein serve to guide the formation of policies, programs, and research to ensure a healthy Latino citizenry.

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Table of Contents


Latino Health Policy: Beyond Demographic Determinism (A. Falcon, etal.).

Latino Health Status: Framework for Knowledge Building (O.Carter-Pokras & R. Zambrana).

Latino Access to Health Care: The Role of Insurance, Managed Careand Institutional Barriers (J. Carrillo, et al.)


The Early Years: The Health of Children and Youth (G. Flores &R. Zambrana).

The Reproductive Years: The Health of Latinas (A. Giachello).

The Later Years: The Health of Elderly Latinos (V. Villa & F.Torres-Gil).

Latino Mental Health and Treatment in the United States (W. Vega& M. Alegria).


The Impact of Cancer on Latino Populations (A. Ramirez & L.Suarez).

Cardiovascular Disease (E. Perez-Stable, et al.).

Diabetes (J. Luchsinger).

Gender, Context, and HIV Prevention among Latinos (H. Amaro, etal.).


Occupational Health among Latino Workers in the Urban Setting (R.Moure-Eraso & G. Friedman-Jimenez).

Health and Occupational Risks of Latinos Living in Rural America(K. Azevedo & H. Bogue).


Alcohol Use and Alcohol-Related Problems among Latinos in theUnited States (R. Caetano & F. Galvan).

Tobacco Use among Latinos (G. Marin).

Latino Drug Use: Scope, Risk Factors, and Reduction Strategies (A.Gil & W. Vega).

Latino Health Policy: A Look to the Future.

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