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The Hispanic Epidemiological Paradox in the Fastest-Growing State in the United States

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The purpose of this study was to compare 42 different indicators for health behaviors, health conditions, and the perception of heath risks between the Hispanic population and the non-Hispanic White population in Nevada while accounting for acculturation. This study utilized the Nevada 2004–2006 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System population-based survey data. Nevada provided a unique population to examine this issue because Nevada has been the fastest-growing state in the United States for the past two decades, while Hispanics were the fastest-growing race/ethnic group in Nevada. Compared to the non-Hispanic White population, Hispanics reported less current smoking, less current asthma, less disability, greater receipt of the flu shot, less exposure to secondhand smoking inside the home, greater utilization of mammography and Pap smear screening, less intimate partner violence threat and intimate partner violence physical assault, greater perceived risk of marijuana and alcohol use perception, and less depressive disorder. On the other hand, Hispanics, compared to the non-Hispanic White population, reported less leisure-time physical activity, greater drinking and driving, lower self-reported health status, greater prevalence of diabetes, greater prevalence of being overweight or obese, greater exposure to secondhand smoking at the workplace or public or common areas, and less health care coverage. Despite the lower socioeconomic status and access to health care that place Hispanics at higher risk for adverse health conditions, this study shows that Hispanics were more likely to report beneficial health behaviors that may protect them from adverse health conditions and account for the Hispanic paradox.

Spanish
El propósito de este estudio fue comparar 42 diferentes indicadores de comportamiento de salud, condiciones médicas, y la percepción de factores de riesgo de salud entre los Hispanos y los Blancos no-Hispanos en Nevada considerando aculturación. Este estudio utilizo la información recolectada en Nevada, entre los años 2004 y 2006, por el Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillanece System. Nevada entrega una población única para examinar este tema porque durante las últimas dos décadas, Nevada ha sido el estado de más rápido crecimiento en los Estados Unidos, siendo la etnia/raza Hispana la de más rápido crecimiento. En comparación con la población Blanca-no Hispana, los Hispanos reportaron un menor consumo habitual de cigarrillos, menos asma, menos discapacidades, un mayor uso de la vacuna contra la influenza, una menor exposición al humo de cigarrillo de segunda mano en el hogar, una mayor utilización de mamografías y examen de PAP preventivos, menos violencia conyugal física y emocional, una mayor percepción de los riesgos asociados al uso de mariguana y alcohol, y menos desordenes depresivos. Por otra parte, Hispanos, comparados con la población Blanca-no Hispana, reportaron menos actividad física durante su tiempo libre, una mayor prevalencia de sobrepeso u obesidad, una mayor exposición al humo de cigarrillo de segunda mano en el lugar de trabajo o en espacios públicos, y una menor cobertura de salud. A pesar de que su más bajo estatus socioeconómico y menor acceso a servicios de salud ubica a los Hispanos a un mayor riesgo de tener problemas de salud, este estudio demuestra que los Hispanos son más proclives a reportar comportamientos de salud beneficiosos, los que pueden protegerles contra problemas de salud y que explicar la paradoja Hispana.
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Keywords: BRFSS; HEALTH; HISPANICS; NEWCOMERS; PARADOX

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2009

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