Tag Archives: Hispanic

New study helps document role of oral health in overall health of Hispanics

Photo: Ann Fisher via Flickr

More than half of U.S. Hispanic adults suffer from dental pain, have difficulty eating or report other oral problems that impact their quality of life, according to new findings gleaned from a major federal research project.

The conclusions are just the latest from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL) a multi-center, population-based project. Continue reading

Hispanic health care leaders advocate for better cultural competency

Elena Rios, president of the National Hispanic Medical Association

Elena Rios, president of the National Hispanic Medical Association

Language and cultural barriers negatively impact the health of Hispanic Americans, federal health officials say. A lack of access to routine health services has contributed to an increase in a variety of conditions, such as diabetes, obesity, tooth decay and gum disease, that disproportionately affect the nation’s more than 50 million Hispanics.

An increase in Hispanic health care providers could help address the need for “culturally competent and linguistically appropriate services,” said Elena Rios, president of the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA).Yet Hispanic physicians, dentists and nurses remain in short supply. Continue reading

The aging Latino population faces unique challenges

Photo"  Daniel C via Flickr

Photo: Daniel C via Flickr

All family caregivers face struggle to provide appropriate care to their loved ones, while balancing work, other family obligations and managing stress. Latino caregivers must also overcome other barriers, including language, cultural expectations within the Hispanic community, to jobs that may not provide necessary flexibility.

According to the National Hispanic Council on Aging, one-third of Hispanic households report having at least one family caregiver (36 percent). They estimate there are at least 8.1 million Hispanic family caregivers in the U.S. Almost three-quarters (74 percent) of these caregivers are female, with an average age of 42. They provide more intensive, higher-burden caregiving, help with more activities of daily living, and more frequently live with their loved one than do their non-Hispanic, White counterparts. Yet, half (50 percent) of the caregivers rate their experiences as less stressful than do white caregivers.

Chronic diseases like diabetes affect twice as many Hispanics as non-Hispanics, especially Hispanic elders. However studies show minority caregivers tend to use substantially fewer formal support services than their non-Hispanic white counterparts. Focus groups conducted with racially and ethnically diverse caregivers found that “familism, a primary value of Latino cultures, is often cited as a motivating factor for providing care, including the expectation that extended family will assist with the care of older relatives.” Continue reading

Hispanic children bear brunt of poor access to dental care

The lack of dental care is a big problem for children living below the poverty level and untreated tooth decay hits Hispanic children particularly hard.

Data from one large national survey found a full 26 percent of Hispanic 6- to 9-year olds suffered from untreated tooth decay, compared with 14 percent of non-Hispanic white children of the same age.

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month and oral health advocates from the Maryland Dental Action Coalition just launched a new campaign, Dientes Sanos, Ninos Sanos, (Healthy Teeth, Healthy Children) tailored to reach more of the state’s at-risk kids.

“This started because Hispanic children have more tooth decay than other populations, said Harry Goodman, D.M.D., M.P.H., director of the Office of Oral Health at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. He stopped by the Prince George’s County Health Department dental clinic on Feb. 1 to help kick off the effort. It expands on a statewide English-language oral health literacy initiative and includes Spanish language posters for bus and train shelters, brochures, a series of radio spots and a website, DientesSanosNinosSanos.org aimed at raising oral health literacy and helping Spanish-speaking parents find dental care for their children. Continue reading