Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2016

Abstract

Hispanics are the largest minority group in the USA. They contribute to the economy, cultural diversity, and health of the nation. Assessing their health status and health needs is key to inform health policy formulation and program implementation. To this end, we conducted a scoping review of the literature and national statistics on Hispanic health in the USA using a modified social-ecological framework that includes social determinants of health, health disparities, risk factors, and health services, as they shape the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. These social, environmental, and biological forces have modified the epidemiologic profile of Hispanics in the USA, with cancer being the leading cause of mortality, followed by cardiovascular diseases and unintentional injuries. Implementation of the Affordable Care Act has resulted in improved access to health services for Hispanics, but challenges remain due to limited cultural sensitivity, health literacy, and a shortage of Hispanic health care providers. Acculturation barriers and underinsured or uninsured status remain as major obstacles to health care access. Advantageous health outcomes from the “Hispanic Mortality Paradox” and the “Latina Birth Outcomes Paradox” persist, but health gains may be offset in the future by increasing rates of obesity and diabetes. Recommendations focus on the adoption of the Health in All Policies framework, expanding access to health care, developing cultural sensitivity in the health care workforce, and generating and disseminating research findings on Hispanic health.

Publisher's Statement

Originally published in Public Health Reviews, 37 [Article 31]. Licensed under CC BY 4.0. doi:10.1186/s40985-016-0043-2

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