20 Jun 2022


Health Promotion among the Hispanic Population

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Academic level: University

Paper type: Research Paper

Words: 1083

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One major and crucial demographic trend experienced in the current American society is the fast growth of minority populations especially the Hispanic community. With the current huge number of the adult Hispanic community together with the adolescents and young children, this community stands to form a significant number of the American population. As such means of promoting their general health status should be considered keenly in the formulation of health policies amongst other long-standing health care requirements of the community and the entire American population. The racial or ethnically minority group according to the 2010 census report forms 36 % of the total population. Another fact of note is that these minority groups, compared to the non-minority have continued to experience various challenges such as preventable disabilities, deaths, and diseases despite the great strides gained within the country’s health system (Office of the Minority Health and Health Equity, 2016). In one way or another, a lot needs to be done to stem this phenomenon. This paper is going to analyze the Hispanic community in America comparing their health status with the national average, identifying some of the barriers to health services they a facing and looking into ways of solving the health disparity that exists. 

The Hispanic population in the US includes people of South and Central American origin plus any other Spanish culture not considering their race. From the 2012 census report, the number of Hispanic people in the US was reported to be 53 million, forming 16.9 % of the total population with its biggest sub-Hispanic group being that of Mexican origin (Office of Minority Health, 2015). From the same census report, 25.4% of the Hispanic population lives in poverty level compared to 11% of the non-Hispanic white community. Only 64% of these Hispanic people have attained high school education compared to the 92% of non-Hispanic whites. A substantial number of this Hispanic population (33%) is not fluent in speaking in the English language. It should be noted that the Hispanic population is least covered or insured population of the entire ethnic minority groups in the US. As per the 2012 census report, 29 % of the Hispanic group is uninsured compared to 10.4% of the non-Hispanic population. 

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Due to the increasing diversity of the national-origin group of the Hispanic population it is difficult to come up with a detailed and all-inclusive description of their health status. Their health is influenced by various factors such as cultural barriers, the level of access to health insurance and preventive care. The common denominator as identified by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found across this minority group is that leading cause of diseases and deaths include diabetes, hypertension, stroke, cancer and unintentional injuries. Other health conditions which significantly affect the population group include obesity and low birth weight. Suicides, homicides, HIV/AIDS, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases also affect the population group at a significant rate (Office of Minority Health, 2015).The chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and the cardiovascular diseases are further influenced by biological risk factors amongst the Hispanic population such as their diet, cholesterol level, and obesity. Hispanics, especially of Mexican origin, have been found to have less complimentary lipid profiles. Also, obesity rates among the Hispanics have been found to be higher compared to the non-Hispanic whites (Escarce,   Morales & Rumbaut, 2006). These are some of the factors which have contributed or hiked the risks of contracting the chronic diseases affecting the Hispanic population in the US. Compared to other minority groups and non-Hispanic whites, the Hispanic population registers the lowest cigarettes smoking rates. Also compared to non-Hispanic whites, the Hispanic population has been found to less likely drink alcohol and abuse illicit drugs (Escarce,   Morales & Rumbaut, 2006). Another significant feature of note according to Escarce and his associates (2006) is that the Hispanic population, compared to the non-Hispanic whites, has a lower mortality rate despite their lower socioeconomic status. 

Factors which have influenced the limited access of the minority groups to the health care services in the US revolve around cultural, socioeconomic and sociopolitical barriers. From their low socioeconomic status, issues of low literacy level and language barriers, this population has not been able to have a regular doctor or even access medical facilities such as the ‘Obama-care’. As expressed earlier, a substantial amount of the Hispanic population lives in poverty and is the most uninsured lot (George Town University, 2004) . With limited financial capabilities, the group has not been able to afford regular checkups something which has contributed to the community developing chronic diseases which could have been prevented on earlier diagnosis. As a result of this, the Hispanic group has been reporting higher mortality and morbidity rate from preventable chronic diseases. 

Another potential cultural barrier which has also contributed to the limited access to health care services by the Hispanic group is the low levels of cultural competency in the society. Minorities have been under-represented within the country’s health care system and as such, most of their socio-cultural needs may go unconsidered during the preparation and formulation of heath care packs and delivery policies. For example at the Buncombe County Hospital one department of the hospital, the emergency department was reported to be overused. On analysis of the reasons behind it, it was discovered that immigrants frequented the department because it was the only department which had an English interpreter at all time. Language was a barrier which affected their access to health care since things such as having interpreters or flyers written in their language was limited at the hospital. 

To resolve these challenges affecting access to health care services by the minorities, cultural competence within the health provision bodies should occupy the center stage. Cultural competence amongst officials within the health care system will go a long way in enhancing and improving the health of the Hispanic population along with other minority groups. It’s crucial for the health providers to know why these minority groups behave the way they do. The government should start to focus on how to involve and induct members from these minority groups in the leadership and management positions of heath care establishments. The government could also gather crucial information from the few influential minority officials or even community representatives during the formulation of heath policies. By improving the health standards of the minority groups will positively impact health standards in country leading to a reduction of cost of managing several preventable diseases and consequently have a multiplier effect in encouraging cultural competence. 

In conclusion, to enhance health care service provision to the minorities, systemic health care barriers should be eliminated. Also, the quality of health care provided to the minority in the community should be improved. All this, however, starts with understanding the unique cultural and social differences which these minority groups have. As such enhancement of cultural competence amongst health providers is very crucial in the quest of promoting heath care services amongst the diverse population in America. 


Escarce, J,    Morales, L & Rumbaut, R. (2006). The Health Status and Health Behaviors of Hispanics. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK19899/ 

George Town University (2004). Cultural Competence In Health Care: Is It Important For People With Chronic Conditions? Retrieved from https://hpi.georgetown.edu/agingsociety/pubhtml/cultural/cultural.html 

Office of the Minority Health and Health Equity (2016) Minority Health Determines the Health of the Nation. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/minorityhealth/index.html 

Office of Minority Health (2015). Profile: Hispanic/ Latino Americans. Retrieved from http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=3&lvlid=64 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 17). Health Promotion among the Hispanic Population.


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