Public Health: Hispanic Population in the US

Overview

The Hispanics are Americans who are believed to have originated from countries speaking the Spanish language (Scheid & Brown, 2010). According to Angel and Whitfield (2007), they currently constitute about 17% of the American population. One of the reasons why their population has been on the rise is due to the high rate of immigration from countries such as Mexico and other neighboring nations. Given their population, they have become very active in American politics. Compared to the Whites, the Hispanics face many health risks in this country. The researcher will conduct a study on this group of Americans in order to understand the health risks faced by Hispanics.

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Demographic Factors

According to Angel and Whitfield (2007), it is estimated that there are over 54 million Hispanics in the United States. This accounts for about 17% of the total population of the United States. From 1970 to 2014, it is estimated that their population has increased by 592% (Edelman, Mandle & Kudzma, 2014). This has been attributed to illegal immigration into the country over the last four decades.

According to Edelman, Mandle, and Kudzma (2014), 64 % of all Hispanics are Mexicans. Other dominant groups include Puerto Ricans, Salvadorans, Dominicans, and Guatemalans. New Mexico is the state with the highest number of Hispanics in this country (Edelman, Mandle & Kudzma, 2014). 47% of the Hispanics stay in this state. California, Arizona, and Texas also have a high percentage of this group of Americans.

Health Care Practices

The Hispanics continue to be at risk because of a number of health care practices they embrace. Compared to the Whites, most of the Hispanics have no proper healthcare insurance, and only a few are vaccinated against influenza. Many of them also face occupational health risks, especially those who immigrated to the country illegally.

Risk Behaviors

According to Angel and Whitfield (2007), the Hispanics engage in risky behaviors that put their health at risk. For instance, teen pregnancy is very common in this population. It has also been established that a good number of Hispanics do not complete high school education, forcing them to take jobs that expose them to many dangers. Lack of proper education limits their knowledge about the behavioral patterns that may put their health at risk.

Genetic Susceptibility to Chronic Conditions

According to Torres (2009), even though scientists do not agree on the role of genetics in chronic diseases, it is a fact that Hispanics are more susceptible to diseases such as obesity, diabetes, periodontitis, and even HIV. This may be attributed to their behavioral patterns when it comes to issues related to a healthy lifestyle.

Nutrition

Scheid and Brown (2010) note that it may not be possible to identify specific foods common among the Hispanics that may put their health at risk. The issue of nutrition may be looked at from an individualized perspective based on one’s nutritional program.

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Spirituality

The Hispanics are very religious people. Most of them are Roman Catholics, while others are Protestants. It is rare to find those who embrace other religious practices such as Islam or Buddhism.

Death Rituals

According to Angel and Whitfield (2007), these people practice synchronized Roman-Catholicism and Native American rituals. They bury their dead in well-organized ceremonies. They believe that when they make prayers, their dead loved ones go to heaven instead of hell.

References

Angel, J. L., & Whitfield, K. E. (2007). The health of aging Hispanics: The Mexican-origin population. New York: Springer.

Edelman, C., Mandle, C. L., & Kudzma, E. C. (2014). Health promotion throughout the life span. New York: Elsevier.

Scheid, T. L., & Brown, T. N. (2010). A handbook for the study of mental health: Social contexts, theories, and systems. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Torres, S. (2009). Hispanic voices: Hispanic health educators speak out. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

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