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Health Issues in Latino Males

Health Issues in Latino Males: A Social and Structural Approach

Marilyn Aguirre-Molina
Luisa N. Borrell
William Vega
Copyright Date: 2010
Published by: Rutgers University Press
Pages: 336
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  • Book Info
    Health Issues in Latino Males
    Book Description:

    It is estimated that more than 50 million Latinos live in the United States. This is projected to more than double by 2050. InHealth Issues in Latino Malesexperts from public health, medicine, and sociology examine the issues affecting Latino men's health and recommend policies to overcome inequities and better serve this population. The book addresses sexual and reproductive health; alcohol, tobacco, and drug use; mental and physical health among those in the juvenile justice or prison systems; chronic diseases; HIV/AIDS; Alzheimer's and dementia; and health issues among war veterans. It discusses utilization, insurance coverage, and research programs, and includes an extensive appendix charting epidemiological data on Latino health.

    eISBN: 978-0-8135-4976-7
    Subjects: Health Sciences, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Figures
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. List of Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Foreword
    (pp. xi-xii)
    David R. Williams

    One of the largest but most neglected disparities in health is the poorer health of men compared to that of women. In the United States, for example, the gap in life expectancy between men and women is larger than the life expectancy differences between blacks and whites and between persons high in income and education compared to those of low socioeconomic status.

    There may be a biological contribution to the sex differences in health. In virtually every country of the world, more boys than girls are born each year, but fewer infant boys survive to see their first birthday, and...

  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-xv)
    Marilyn Aguirre-Molina
  7. Introduction: A Social and Structural Framework for the Analysis of Latino Males’ Health
    (pp. 1-14)
    Marilyn Aguirre-Molina, Luisa N. Borrell, Miguel Muñoz-Laboy and William Vega

    Over the next fifty years, the racial and ethnic composition of the United States is projected to dramatically change. Currently, the Latino population makes up approximately 14 percent (41.3 million) of the total U.S. population, excluding the residents of Puerto Rico and many undocumented Latinos. It is estimated that 75 percent of all Latinos residing in the United States are immigrants or children of immigrants. The Latino community is projected to grow annually by at least 2 percent until 2030. By 2050, population growth estimates forecast that Latinos will double in size, becoming almost 25 percent (102.6 million) of the...

  8. Part I Key Issues Affecting the Health of Latino Men

    • Chapter 1 Demographic Transformations, Structural Contexts, and Transitions to Adulthood
      (pp. 17-31)
      Rubén G. Rumbaut

      A new era of mass immigration, accelerating since the 1970s and largely coming from developing countries of Latin America and Asia, has transformed the ethnic composition of the U.S. population. Today about 70 million people are of foreign birth or parentage—23 percent of all Americans, including 90 percent of all Asians and 76 percent of all Hispanics (Portes and Rumbaut 2006). They include nearly 70 million foreign-born persons—of whom 12 million are estimated to be undocumented immigrants, mostly from Mexico and Central America (Passell 2006)—and another 40 million of foreign parentage. This immigrant-stock population, the largest ever,...

    • Chapter 2 The Implications and Impact of Race on the Health of Hispanic/Latino Males
      (pp. 32-52)
      Luisa N. Borrell and Clara Rodríguez

      Given the history of slavery and racism in the United States, it is no surprise that race has played an important role in the lives of individuals living there, for Latinos as well as Africans and African Americans. Early ethnographic and descriptive studies of Puerto Ricans consistently noted the role that “race” or “color” played in their experiences and socioeconomic outcomes (Rodríguez 1996).

      Puerto Ricans of darker skin color were found to experience greater difficulty obtaining access to good quality housing, education, and employment, as well as other socioeconomic outcomes than lighter-skinned individuals. For decades, scholars and writers have described...

    • Chapter 3 Improvements in Latino Health Data
      (pp. 53-64)
      Olivia Carter-Pokras and Alexander H. Fischer

      Assessing the influence of structural factors on health in Latino males has been constrained in the past by poor data quality in national health surveys. This shortfall of information has severely impaired health-demographic analysis, thus posing a major barrier to needs assessments and public health interventions. Although Congress requested that federal agencies collect data on persons of Hispanic origin in the early 1970s, it was not until 1984 that the National Center for Health Statistics published Hispanic mortality data for reporting states. The number of reporting states improved over time, particularly after 1989, when Hispanic origin was added to the...

  9. Part II The Life Cycle and Latino Males’ Health

    • Chapter 4 Latino Boys: The Early Years
      (pp. 67-82)
      Marilyn Aguirre-Molina and Gabriela Betancourt

      In general, male children, regardless of race/ethnicity, face poorer health outcomes—especially those that are socioeconomically disadvantaged and uninsured (Courtenay 2003; Krieger 2003a). In particular, Latino boys disproportionately face negative physical and mental health outcomes—including diabetes, obesity, asthma, and depression—when compared with other children (Child Trends Data Bank 2009). Overall trends for Latino boys point to significant disparities in health outcomes, access to services, and the quality of health care received. Although it is well established that poverty increases the likelihood of negative health outcomes in children, there is little in the literature that looks at the interaction...

    • Chapter 5 The Sexual and Reproductive Health of Young Latino Males Living in the United States
      (pp. 83-98)
      M. Antonia Biggs, Claire D. Brindis, Lauren Ralph and John Santelli

      Latinos are the largest, fastest growing, and youngest ethnic group in the United States, and the primary factor responsible for this growth is high fertility. It is estimated that by 2025, 24 percent of U.S. youth will be Latino, up from 15 percent in 2000 (U.S. Census Bureau 2000). Reproductive health concerns include high rates of teen pregnancy, teen births, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and HIV/AIDS. The reasons behind these reproductive health disparities can be better understood by looking at other social and structural factors in young Latinos lives. Overall, these comprise important public health issues facing the Latino community....

    • Chapter 6 Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs
      (pp. 99-122)
      Andres Gil and William Vega

      Few areas of Latino health are as profoundly affected by changes in human behavior as drug abuse (Volkow 2006). Drug use is socially acquired behavior. Societies and the subcultures that compose them vary widely in their degree of toleration or outright condemnation of those who consume or become addicted to illicit drugs (Vega et al. 2002). Examining the differences between subgroups of Latinos with different personal and extra-personal characteristics provides insights about factors that protect against or promote illicit drug use (Vega and Gil 1998). In keeping with the goal of this book, this chapter places special emphasis on the...

    • Chapter 7 The Causes and Consequences of Poor Health among Latino Vietnam Veterans: Parallels for Latino Veterans of the War in Iraq
      (pp. 123-138)
      Valentine V. Villa, Nancy Harada and Anh-Luu Huynh-Hohnbaum

      Latinos have a long-standing tradition of military service in the United States. Nearly half a million Latinos served in World War II (Leal 1999). During the Vietnam War, a disproportionate number of Latinos were among the ranks of those that enlisted and/or were drafted (Mariscal 1999). In Iraq, Latinos represent 9 percent of those serving (over 130,000 individuals), and 12 percent of those that have been killed in combat (U.S. Department of Defense 2006). Of the more than 870,000 Military Ready Reserve members, more than 71,500 are Latino (U.S. Department of Defense 2003). It is estimated that an additional 37,000...

    • Chapter 8 Health of Incarcerated Latino Men
      (pp. 139-157)
      Sandra P. Arévalo, Laia Bécares and Hortensia Amaro

      Disparities in health status and health care between Latinos and other race/ethnic groups in the United States have been broadly documented in the scientific literature (IOM 2003). However, national data sources and reports on health disparities have excluded institutionalized populations such as those who are incarcerated (CDC 2004; APHA 2004; AHRQ 2005). It is axiomatic in criminology that people of low socioeconomic status are more likely to be prosecuted for crimes than are rich ones, and that minority group arrestees are at a significant disadvantage in every stage of judicial processing within the criminal justice system. Therefore, structural factors operate...

    • Chapter 9 Emergent Chronic Conditions
      (pp. 158-182)
      Sandra Echeverria and Ana Diez-Roux

      In the United States, heart disease, cancers, stroke, chronic lower respiratory disease, and diabetes account for more than two-thirds of all deaths in the nation and approximately 75 percent of the nation’s total health care expenditure (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2004). While chronic health conditions tend to affect all racial/ethnic groups, little work has been done to systematically assess differences in chronic disease patterns for the Latino population and Latino men more specifically. Moreover, little work exists documenting the emergence of chronic diseases that may disproportionately affect Latino men and how structural, social, and cultural factors may uniquely...

    • Chapter 10 Psychiatric Disorders and Mental Health Service Use among Latino Men in the United States
      (pp. 183-211)
      Antonio Polo and Margarita Alegría

      There is limited research about the effects of demographic, especially structural factors, on the physical and mental health of the 41 million Latinos in the United States (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2001). Generally mental health problems in the United States are less frequent in higher socioeconomic status subgroups. Because Latinos are disproportionately low income, especially immigrants, they offer an important opportunity to determine whether these structural determinants operate similarly for mental health problems in Latino populations. Few studies have examined the mental health profile and service use patterns of men across racial/ethnic groups, and particularly those of...

    • Chapter 11 Social Determinants of HIV/AIDS: A Focus on Discrimination and Latino Men Who Have Sex with Men
      (pp. 212-228)
      George Ayala

      Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) is not evenly distributed in the general population. In fact, the AIDS epidemic in the United States has had a disproportionate impact on Latinos, particularly Latino men, and more specifically Latino men who have sex with men. For example, Latinos are four times more likely than non-Latino whites to receive an AIDS diagnosis (CDC 2005a) and in 2004, men made up the majority (79 percent) of new AIDS diagnosis among Latinos (CDC 2005b). Given this profile of exceptional rate of infection, it is a research and policy priority to identify the structural determinants of HIV...

    • Chapter 12 Health Coverage, Utilization, and Expenditures among Latino Men
      (pp. 229-248)
      Russell Homan, Patricia A. Homan and Olveen Carrasquillo

      The Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ) publishes the annual National Health Disparities Report (NHDR), which provides a comprehensive review of data obtained from many distinct sources regarding healthcare disparities among members of racial and ethnic minorities versus non-Hispanic whites (NHWs). The 2006 NHDR found that Hispanics had worse access to care than non-Hispanic whites in 83 percent of core measures examined (AHRQ 2006b). In addition, while disparities have been steadily improving for blacks and Asians, most of the disparities in access to care were getting worse for Hispanics. Perhaps no measure of access to care is as...

    • Chapter 13 Mental Health of Elderly Latino Males
      (pp. 249-260)
      Cynthia Alford and David Espino

      The aging population of Latinos is increasing rapidly with accompanying implications for health and well-being. Structural factors may have more impact in the final stage of life than at any other due to the cumulative effects of substandard health care, occupational hazards, and life stress. One of two mental health concerns will likely impair the quality of life experienced by elderly Latinos, and both are influenced by poverty and poor health care access: cognitive impairment, which includes Alzheimer’s disease and associated dementias, and late-life depression. Both are underrecognized and undertreated, and both are major causes of morbidity and mortality in...

  10. Conclusion: New Directions for Research, Policy, and Programs Addressing the Health of Latino Males
    (pp. 261-267)
    William Vega, Luisa N. Borrell and Marilyn Aguirre-Molina

    The chapters in this volume comprise a unique collection of studies about issues affecting the health of Latino males. To our knowledge, this is the first time this information has been presented in one volume. It should be borne in mind that interpreting the effects of structural factors on health is a synthetic process. Disease is usually produced by multiple personal and nonpersonal factors; therefore, structural data are inadequate to inform us about causes and outcomes, as these are attributable to individual pathologies. Thus, our task requires assembling a mosaic of available data and imposing social-ecological explanations about predisposing factors...

  11. Appendix: An Overview of Latino Males’ Health Status
    (pp. 268-306)
    Olivia Carter-Pokras and Mariano Kanamori
  12. Contributors
    (pp. 307-310)
  13. Index
    (pp. 311-317)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 318-319)