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Limited Access to Healthcare among Hispanics in the US-Mexico Border Region

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Objective: Using large national databases, we investigated how living in the US-Mexico border region further limited access to healthcare among the non-elderly Hispanic adult population after controlling individual and county-level characteristics. Methods: The 2008-2012 individual-level data of non-elderly Hispanic adults from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) were merged with county-level data from Area Health Resources File (AHRF). Multivariate logistic analyses were performed to predict insurance status and access to doctors using residency in the US-Mexico border region as the key predictor, adjusting individual and county-level factors. Results: Controlling only individual characteristic, Hispanics living in the US-Mexico border region had significantly lower odds of having health insurance (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 0.51; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.49-0.54) and access to doctors (AOR = 0.69; 95% CI, 0.66-0.72). After including county-level measurements of healthcare system capacity and other local characteristics, the border region continued to be associated with lower likelihood of healthcare access. Conclusion: Hispanic residents in the U.S.-Mexico border had less access to healthcare than their inland counterparts. The findings highlight unique features in this region and support policies and initiatives to improve minority healthcare access, particularly among disadvantaged populations in this region.
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Keywords: AREA HEALTH RESOURCES FILES; BEHAVIORAL RISK FACTOR SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM; HEALTHCARE ACCESS; HEALTHCARE DISPARITY; HISPANIC POPULATION; US-MEXICO BORDER REGION

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Associate Professor, Department of Emerging Economies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, China 2: Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Babson College, Babson Park, MA;, Email: [email protected] 3: Associate Professor, Department of Finance and Economics, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX

Publication date: September 1, 2016

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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