Publication Abstract

Authors: Hajat A, Lucas JB, Kington R

Title: Health outcomes among Hispanic subgroups: data from the National Health Interview Survey, 1992-95.

Journal: Adv Data (310):1-14

Date: 2000 Feb 25

Abstract: BACKGROUND: Within the next 50 years, Hispanics will become the largest minority group in the United States. The largest Hispanic subgroups are those of Mexican, Cuban, and Puerto Rican descent. The Hispanic population is heterogeneous in terms of culture, history, socioeconomic status (SES) and health status. In this report, various health status measures are compared across Hispanic subgroups in the United States. METHODS: National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) data aggregated from 1992 through 1995 were analyzed. NHIS is one of the few national surveys that has a sufficiently large sample size to adequately compare the different subgroups. Data are presented for four Hispanic origin subgroups--Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, and "other Hispanic" persons--for the Hispanic population as a whole and for the non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black populations. These groups are compared with respect to several health status outcomes, providing both age-adjusted and unadjusted estimates. RESULTS: The health indicators for Puerto Rican persons are significantly worse than for the other Hispanic origin subgroups. For example, about 21% of Puerto Rican persons reported having an activity limitation, compared with about 15% of Cuban and Mexican persons and 14% of "other Hispanic" persons. In contrast, the health indicators of Cuban persons are often better than those of the other subgroups. For example, Cuban persons reported an average of 3 days per year lost from school or work, compared with about 6 days for Mexican and Puerto Rican persons and 7 days for "other Hispanic" persons. Mexican persons fare better than Puerto Rican persons on measures such as restricted activity days, bed disability days and hospitalizations. CONCLUSION: These data demonstrate clear differences in health status as well as indicators of socioeconomic status across Hispanic subgroups in the United States. Data on Hispanic subgroups facilitate the planning of public health services for various underserved populations.