People’s health outcomes are shaped in part by non-biological factors. Most immediately, limited access to health care services can have a deleterious impact on individuals’ health outcomes (Andrulis, 1998). In turn, access to healthcare services is influenced by socioeconomic factors such as whether a person has health insurance or the financial means to pay for their health care. Familiarity with the health care system is another important factor that may influence an individual’s access to healthcare services (Morgan et al., 2008). Language also plays an important role in health outcomes. For instance, individuals with limited English proficiency may find it hard to communicate with providers who do not speak their language, and to access the information they need in order to manage their health conditions.
This report provides a snapshot on specific health issues that affect the Latino population in Massachusetts: HIV/AIDS, asthma, diabetes, obesity, occupational health, cancer, and oral health. The data presented here were obtained from databases and reports issued by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health such as the Massachusetts Community Health Information Profile (MassCHIP),A Profile of Health among Massachusetts Adults (MDPH, 2008), and Health of Massachusetts (MDPH, 2010), among others.
Information on the disparate impact that some of these conditions have within the Latino population and across regional areas is provided in order to highlight the role that contextual factors such as place of birth, gender, and area of residence play on health outcomes. The information presented in this report further confirms that health outcomes do not occur in a vacuum, but rather are embedded in the complex social, economic, and demographic web that envelops Latinos in Massachusetts.
Cortés, Dharma and Vega, Rodolfo R., "The Health of Latinos in Massachusetts: A Snapshot" (2010). Gastón Institute Publications. Paper 157.
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