Latinos and Latino Health in Maryland
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Latinos and Latino Health in Maryland. Olivia Carter-Pokras, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics University of Maryland School of Public Health. Hispanics in Maryland: 2007. 347,000 or 6% of population 54% are foreign-born 22% are Mexican-origin

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Latinos and Latino Health in Maryland

Olivia Carter-Pokras, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics

University of Maryland School of Public Health

Hispanics in maryland 2007
Hispanics in Maryland: 2007

  • 347,000 or 6% of population

  • 54% are foreign-born

  • 22% are Mexican-origin

  • Median Income (16 and older)

    • Hispanics $25,298

    • Non-Hispanic Whites $40,476

  • Poverty Rate (17 and younger)

    • Hispanics 11%

    • Non-Hispanic White 6%


New maryland latino data
New Maryland Latino Data

  • Focus groups

    • Physical activity, emergency preparedness, tobacco

  • Surveys conducted at festivals, health fairs & clinics in Baltimore & Montgomery County

  • Montgomery County Latino Cancer Survey (503 adults at least 40 years of age)

  • 2006 Maryland Adult and Youth Tobacco Surveys

  • Blueprint focus groups & Key Informant Interviews

  • Other needs assessments & evaluation for specific programs (e.g., asthma)

Hispanic latino paradox
Hispanic/Latino Paradox?

  • Despite higher poverty, uninsurance, lower use of health services, Mexican-origin persons and Latinos as a whole tend to have lower mortality and morbidity than non-Hispanic Whites

  • But, effect is restricted to immigrant Mexicans & “Other Hispanics” (Palloni & Arias, 2003)

  • OF CONCERN: As Latinos assimilate they adopt unhealthy behaviors, the population is aging, obesity rates are increasing, increasing lack of access

SOURCE: Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health. 2008 Dec;10(6):475-88

Health priorities for maryland latinos
Health Priorities for Maryland Latinos

  • Common issues for MD Latinos: access to care, language barriers, low socioeconomic status

  • Interrelatedness of health issues to other problems (e.g., employment, stress)

  • Fewer Latino adults have health insurance: only 31% in Baltimore & 42% in Montgomery County

  • Latinos under-utilize emergency departments

  • Recommend use medical interpreters, U.S. healthcare system workshops, licensure of foreign-trained nurses, outreach clinics

SOURCE: AJMC 2004;10(1):SP29-SP36; JHCPU 2006;17(4):899-909; JAAMP 2006;17:61-67, Montgomery County Latino Cancer Survey; J Transcultural Nursing 2008;19(2)

Fewer Latino women received first trimester prenatal care compared to other women in Montgomery County, 2006

The adolescent birth rate for Hispanic youth is considerably higher than

the rate for other youth in Montgomery County, 2003 to 2006

Physical activity among latina adolescents
Physical activity among Latina adolescents higher than

SOURCE: Journal of Latino-Latin American Studies 2006 Dec;2(2):33-47.

Positive concept of exercise & physical activity, support development of physical fitness programs for Latina adolescents

Few programs available, cost prohibitive, lack of transportation, parental English ability, homework, being tired, needing encouragement, not having time, program staff & neighborhood safety concerns, wanting to sleep, lack of a volleyball court, & home chores.

Weight dietary practices and physical activity
Weight, Dietary Practices and Physical Activity higher than

30% obese & 46% overweight

More men were overweight (56% vs. 39%), more women were obese (24% vs. 35%)

29% consumed 5 or more servings of vegetables and fruits per day

SOURCE: Montgomery County Latino Cancer Survey,

Smoking variations in montgomery county maryland
Smoking Variations in Montgomery County, Maryland higher than

  • Variations by subgroup: 10% CA, 17% SA, & 25% Other Latinos smoke

  • Increase with greater time in U.S.: 12% of those 0-4 years, 18% of 5-9 years, 27% of 10-19 years were current smokers

  • 71% of those with health insurance v.s. 30% of uninsured were advised to quit smoking

SOURCE: Montgomery County Latino Cancer Survey,

Latino smokers are less likely to be offered by healthcare providers
Latino smokers are less likely to be offered by healthcare providers

  • Advice

  • Smoking cessation products

  • Programs, or medications

SOURCE: Carter-Pokras O, et al. (2008). Report on Disparities in Tobacco Use Behaviors by Adult Minority Populations in Maryland, 2006.

5 latino current smoker ex smoker focus groups
5 Latino Current Smoker & Ex-Smoker Focus Groups providers

  • Main reasons to stop smoking: personal health concerns, impact on children, & family health & role model pressure

  • Barriers to quit smoking: environmental temptation & social factors, emotional pressure, addiction & habitual behavior.

  • Low use of cessation services is associated with lack of awareness of availability of Spanish-language cessation services.

  • Lay health promoters are favored for smoking cessation interventions.

SOURCE: Carter-Pokras O, et al. Barriers and Facilitators to Smoking Cessation among Latino Adult Tobacco Users in Maryland. Manuscript Under Review.

Immigration problems providers

  • Trust issues

  • Eligibility/fear

Logistical problems

Language barriers

Emergency preparedness
Emergency Preparedness providers

  • Difficulty defining emergency

  • Wide range of perceived personal emergency risks: immigration problems; crime, personal insecurity, gangs; home/traffic accidents; home fires; environmental problems; and snipers.

  • Few participants had received information on emergency preparedness, and most did not have an emergency plan.

    SOURCE: Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved; 2007;18:465-481.

Principles of community based research as applied to maryland latino communities
Principles of Community-based Research as Applied to Maryland Latino Communities

  • Community as a unit of identity

  • Builds on strengths and resources within community

  • Facilitates collaborative, equitable partnerships in all phases of research

  • Promotes co-learning and capacity-building

  • Integrates knowledge and action

  • Emphasizes local relevance & multiple determinants of health

  • Implements an iterative process

  • Disseminates findings and knowledge

  • Long-term process and commitment

SOURCE: Martinez IL, Carter-Pokras O, Brown PB. Addressing the Challenges of Latino Health Research: Community-based approaches in an emergent urban community. Journal of the National Medical Association (In Press)

Olivia Carter-Pokras, Ph.D. Maryland Latino Communities

Associate Professor

Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics

University of Maryland School of Public Health

[email protected]