Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Health Serv Res. 2009 Oct;44(5 Pt 1):1542-62. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-6773.2009.00997.x. Epub 2009 Jul 13.

Community demographics and access to health care among U.S. Hispanics.

Author information

  • 1RAND Corporation, Arlington, VA 22202-5050, USA. gresenz@rand.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To explore the influence of the communities in which Hispanics live on their access to health care.

DATA:

1996-2002 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey data, linked to secondary data sources and including 14,504 observations from 8,371 Mexican American respondents living in metropolitan areas.

STUDY DESIGN:

We use multivariate probit regression models, stratified by individuals' insurance status, for analyses of four dependent variables measuring access to health care. We measure community characteristics at the zip code tabulation area level, and key independent variables of interest are the percentage of the population that speaks Spanish and percentage of the population that is immigrant Hispanic. Each of these measures is interacted with individual-level measures of nativity and length of U.S. residency.

PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

For Mexican American immigrants, living in an area populated by relatively more Spanish speakers or more Hispanic immigrants is associated with better access to care. The associations are generally stronger for more recent immigrants compared with those who are better established. Among U.S.-born Mexican Americans who are uninsured, living in areas more heavily populated with Spanish-speaking immigrants is negatively associated with access to care.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results suggest that characteristics of the local population, including language and nativity, play an important role in access to health care among U.S. Hispanics, and point to the need for further study, including analyses of other racial and ethnic groups, using different geographic constructs for describing the local population, and, to the extent possible, more specific exploration of the mechanisms through which these characteristics may influence access to care.

PMID:
19619247
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2754547
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for Blackwell Publishing Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk