The Healthy Americas Institute of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health (the Alliance) released a survey of attitudes toward health care in the Hispanic community. In addition to providing insight on the Hispanic community, the survey was sufficiently powered to allow meaningful comparisons with the perceptions of non-Hispanic whites and non-Hispanic blacks.
"A key insight from the study is that Hispanics are fully engaged in individual and community health. However, compared to non-Hispanic whites, the cost of care was more likely to prevent Hispanics from obtaining a range of health services. Likewise, Hispanics were more likely to report cost as a constraint in choosing healthy options like buying fruits and vegetables," said Jane L. Delgado, PhD, MS, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, the nation's leading Hispanic health advocacy group.
"The study also found that Hispanics saw environmental concerns as central to health and supported policy changes to improve community health. When asked to cite factors that have a strong effect on health the top factor cited was 'physical environment, such as clean air or water.' Also, Hispanics were more likely than non-Hispanic whites to report that they support public health initiatives being tested in cities across the country, such as taxes on sugar sweetened beverages and increasing the legal age to 21 to buy tobacco cigarettes," emphasized Dr. Delgado.
Other key findings from the study:
- Role of Health Insurance: Hispanics with health insurance are significantly more likely (53%) than uninsured Hispanics (37%) to report that their health is excellent or very good.
- Mental Health: Hispanics are significantly less likely (48%) than non-Hispanic whites (59%) and non-Hispanic blacks (61%) to report their emotional and mental health is excellent or very good.
- Community Priorities: When asked to cite top priorities for health in their community, Hispanics and non-Hispanic blacks were significantly more likely than non-Hispanic whites to cite availability of decent housing (74% and 88% v. 63%) and availability of bike lanes sidewalks, and public transportation (63% and 59% v. 45%).
- Role of Government: Hispanics (63%) and non-Hispanic blacks (70%) were significantly more likely than non-Hispanics whites (53%) to say that the government should do more to make sure that Americans are healthier, even if it costs the taxpayers more.
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