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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: 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.