Health disparities of the Latino population Student’s NameInstitutional AffiliationAbstractThe authors make a deterministic analysis of the health disparities in the Latino population living in the United States and examine previous studies on the subject that use death rates for a group of diseases and reasons of death that are compared to the total American population statistics (Vega, Rodriguez & Gruskin, 2009).
The observed trends of wellbeing and mortality are analyzed according to the stage of life, salary, and education. Eight causes for excess mortality are established and examined: diabetes mellitus, 3 types of cancer, HIV, liver disease, homicide, and occupational diseases.
Considering the increasing number of Latino immigrants and the disparities found the authors recommend increasing the attention paid to this matter and suggest social adaptation as the most useful model to provide opportunities, change of surroundings, and psychological support that halt the degrading behaviors that potentially increase in the next generations. It also states the lack of clinical research with a more significant percentage of Latinos, to better assess the role of genetic and social economic variables linked to disparities (Vega, Rodriguez & Gruskin, 2009).Keywords: health disparities, Latino immigrants, mortality. Health Disparities of The Latino PopulationThe topic of disparity of immigrants has been the subject of a variety of studies over the years, due to the increasing numbers of immigrants that have moved to the United States in the last two decades. At the time of the article more than half of the Latino population, that represented over 15% of the United States residents and that is projected to reach 30% by 2050 (Vega, Rodriguez & Gruskin, 2009), was composed of immigrants; and despite of all-cause mortality rates being lower for this group compared to the US population and according to some studies pointing to them being healthier than native-born Americans and Latino Americans, there are some cases of excess mortality rates and a few variables that have not been taking into account in order to completely assess the significance of these disparities.This paper presents a critique of the research article titled Health Disparities in the Latino Population’. In the article, the authors explore the health disparities that are affecting the Latino Population living in the United States, based on diseases which causes could be credited to socioeconomic marginality, which effects on daily habits and surroundings are seen in the increase of mortality rates in the current and future generations of immigrants from Latin America. This examination is done by analyzing data for Latinos born in the US and foreign-born Latinos in order to determine the most relevant variances in health status and the possible causes for such differences applying a deterministic approach to the information and knowledge available regarding social inequality and marginality. Their methodology entailed an electronic search of articles in the National Library of Medicine, Google, the National Center for Health Statistics and the US Cancer Statistics Working Group, of about two thousand articles from 1985 to 2009, along with sources provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention using keywords related to Latino population, disparities and a large number of diseases as filters (Vega, Rodriguez & Gruskin, 2009). As stated in the article, there was an inconsistent amount of information collected in the early years of the period of time established and the limitation of studying only information in English, greatly affected the reviewing of information, taking into account that the information about the population being subjected to study is in their native language: Spanish. Having reviewed the articles collected the authors use an epidemiology deterministic analysis, to determine the 8 causes for Latino health disparities based on the significant difference they presented compared the mortality rates for the United States, these causes being diabetes mellitus, stomach cancer, liver cancer, cervical cancer, human immunodeficiency virus, liver disease, homicide, and work-related injuries (Vega, Rodriguez & Gruskin, 2009). This approach while useful to filter the great amount of data collected and expressed since the beginning of the study presents some limitations that result in ignoring the largest cause of mortality, cardiovascular disease and it also ignores data regarding morbidity which could have provided greater insight into the examination of health disparities. The authors state the inadequacy of trying to explain the causes of the results presented due to having limited information about a variety of epidemiologic factors on both the country of origin and the United States, which is clearly seen in the support of the figures related to the mortality rate of Latino immigrants and Latino population, extracted from previous studies. An explanation for why Latinos that stay in the country are healthier is presented but is not supported with studies that correlate the people that return to their home country to their increased mortality rate. Likewise, the reviewing nature of the article and its limited scope lacks evidence to demonstrate the effects of genetic, socioeconomic and access to health care variables. Therefore, it is suggested to design a Transdisciplinary research, that goes beyond the qualitative study of the effects of poverty, lifestyle, and participation in the community and addresses the possible manifestation of diseases that are genetically tied to the country of origin and their expression while exposed to a different environment.As mentioned before, due to lack of information about specific rates of mortality of Latino immigrants for some of the disparities, the use of the general US data is needed to support some of the claims that are made. For instance, when explaining work-related injuries, the data of construction positions representing over a third of the overall occupational deaths are used to connect the excess mortality rate of Latino population due to how common it is for immigrants to work these types of jobs, however there is no data for the work-related injuries and development of possible occupational diseases for Latino immigrants only. This may be a result of not considering studies published in Spanish or the lack or studies made on this particular subject.To sum up, while the study has merit and it plays a big role in collecting and organizing a great amount of information consigned in over 2000 articles, the method and scope of the study need to be re-evaluated since, as stated before, there is a significant deficiency in clinical research studies with a significant representation of Latinos, that assess the effect of genetics, poverty, level of education and other potential variables that may affect negatively their health. Though the authors are aware of the limitations of their research, the study provided a great number of reasons to increase the priority given to the matter of health disparities, given the growing representation of Latino immigrants in the population of the United States. ReferencesVega, W., Rodriguez, M., & Gruskin, E. (2009). Health Disparities in the Latino Population. Epidemiologic Reviews, 31(1), 99-112. doi: 10.1093/epirev/mxp008