|Targeted News Service|
Nearly one in five (19%) Latinos said diabetes is the biggest health problem facing their families. The next most cited problem, cancer, is mentioned by just one in twenty Latinos (5%). Diabetes was the biggest health problem reported by both immigrant (16%) and non-immigrant Latinos (22%).
"These findings are surprising," said
The poll reports on the views and experiences of all Latinos, as well as six separate Latino groups: those of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican, South American and Central American heritage. This focus allows examination of the results by different Latino heritage groups. Also, the poll examines the views of Latinos born in
Researchers have long cited diabetes as a threat for the nation's Latino population. According to the
Prior studies have shown that obesity rates among immigrants increase as their duration of residence in the U.S. increases, and suggest that this may be attributable in part to changes in lifestyle, including unhealthy diet. However, the poll suggests that Latino immigrants generally do not perceive their diets as less healthy in the U.S. About four in ten (38%) immigrants said their diet is healthier in the United
States, and about the same number (39%) sees their diet about as healthy. Only one in five (21%) see their diet as less healthy. Cuban immigrants are significantly more likely to see their diet as more healthy in the U.S. (60%) than are immigrants of Dominican (37%), Mexican (36%), or South American (21%) heritage.
Among Latinos who have received medical care during the past twelve months, about one in five (19%) rate the health services they received as fair or poor. Among Latino groups, those reporting care was fair or poor range from 24 percent among Latinos of Mexican heritage to 7 percent among those of Cuban ancestry.
Over half of all Latinos (52%) are not confident that they would have enough money or health insurance to pay for a major illness.
When asked to rate aspects of their communities, significant numbers of total Latinos give low ratings in several areas. Four in ten Latinos (40%) report that the quality of available housing in the area where they live is fair or poor. Over a third of all Latinos rate the public transportation system (36%), availability of recreational facilities for exercise and sports (36%), and safety from crime (34%) in their communities as fair or poor. Three in ten rate the cleanliness of the streets and maintenance of public areas as fair or poor (30%), and about one in four rate the availability of preventive services (27%) and the quality of emergency services, such as police, fire, and ambulance (23%), as fair or poor.