CDC Study: Health Risks Differ Between Latinos And Non-Hispanic Whites

By Alexandra Olgin
Published: Tuesday, May 5, 2015 - 4:28pm
Updated: Thursday, May 7, 2015 - 3:15pm

Death rates from diabetes and chronic liver disease are significantly higher among Latinos. That’s according to the Centers for Disease Control study on Latino health risks.

The study is based on data from the U.S. Census and other national surveys between 2009-2013.  Those numbers showed Latinos were 50 percent more likely to die from diabetes than non-Hispanic whites, and that rate is about the same in Arizona. Author of the study Dr. Ken Dominguez said health also varies based on country of origin.

“We found that Mexicans and Puerto Ricans are about twice as likely to die from diabetes as whites,” he said. “Puerto Ricans had a 20 percent higher death rate from all causes of death combined than Mexicans and Cubans.” 

Puerto Rican and Cuban males also have higher smoking rates than the rest of the Latino population. U.S.-born Latinos are at higher risks for obesity, heart disease and cancer than foreign-born Latinos. The study also found social factors play a limited role in health.

“Hispanics, despite having more risk factors and a lower socioeconomic status, tend to live longer than or as long as people with lower degrees of risk factors or higher socioeconomic status," said CDC Director Tom Friedan.

Latinos are also about three times less likely to have health insurance as non-Hispanic whites, but since the Affordable Care Act that rate has dropped. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 4.2 million Latino adults have health insurance as of 2015. 

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