Journal Article

Health Disparities in the Latino Population

William A. Vega, Michael A. Rodriguez and Elisabeth Gruskin

in Epidemiologic Reviews

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 31, issue 1, pages 99-112
Published in print November 2009 | ISSN: 0193-936X
Published online August 2009 | e-ISSN: 1478-6729 | DOI:
Health Disparities in the Latino Population

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Public Health and Epidemiology


Show Summary Details


In this review, the authors provide an approach to the study of health disparities in the US Latino population and evaluate the evidence, using mortality rates for discrete medical conditions and the total US population as a standard for comparison. They examine the demographic structure of the Latino population and how nativity, age, income, and education are related to observed patterns of health and mortality. A key issue discussed is how to interpret the superior mortality indices of Latino immigrants and the subsequent declining health status of later generations. Explanations for differences in mortality include selection, reverse selection, death record inconsistencies, inequalities in health status, transnational migration, social marginality, and adaptation to environmental conditions in the United States. The utility of the public health social inequality framework and the status syndrome for explaining Latino disparities is discussed. The authors examine excess mortality from 8 causes: diabetes, stomach cancer, liver cancer, cervical cancer, human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, liver disease, homicide, and work-related injuries. The impact of intergenerational changes in health behavior within the Latino population and the contributory role of suboptimal health care are interpreted in the context of implications for future research, public health programs, and policies.

Keywords: health status disparities; Hispanic Americans; mortality; public health

Journal Article.  8376 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.