Latino Men Often Put Off Medical Care


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Latinos are already the nation’s largest racial and ethnic minority group. Their numbers continue to grow and are expected to increase from 1 in 6 today to 1 in 3 by 2060. They also continuously face numerous health disparities compared to whites.

Even among Latinos, there are inequities – especially between Latino men and Latina women. According to research, Latino men are much less likely to engage in accessing the healthcare than Latina women.

With reasons ranging from cultural – such as stigma and language barriers – to economical, Latino men are far less likely to seek medical treatment, often to greater future detriment.

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Latino men have higher instances of obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure than White men; many also have higher-risk vocations, such as construction and manual labor. According to the Department of Labor, Latino men are also more likely to die from on-the-job injuries than other workers.

While this in and of itself is a daunting fact, the alternative is also disconcerting.

Because Latinos are growing, the healthcare system as a whole could face serious – and costly – consequences as the health conditions of Latinos worsen. Chronic conditions could worsen into serious illness and disability in staggering numbers.

It could literally break the health care system,” said José Arévalo, board chairman of Latino Physicians of California in an interview with NPR.

Hospital data also shows that they are more likely to go to the emergency room as their primary source of treatment. This can be viewed as a sign that Latino men wait until they have no choice. For immigrant Latinos, who often do not have health care coverage, this is a barrier that keeps them from obtaining health care until it is often too late.

There’s been an ongoing need for institutions to become more culturally attuned and aware of bias,” said Elena Rios, president of the National Hispanic Medical Association. “Some care providers say medical institutions haven’t done enough to keep Hispanic men healthy, or to persuade them to get regular exams.”

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of Latinos remain without health insurance coverage

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