Hispanic Americans also known as Latinos is a rapidly growing community in the United States. Anyone with Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish origins qualify to fall under this community. Being minority, the health issues of this community go unnoticed. Approximately 26.1% of the Hispanic population is not insured in the US.
Hispanic women living in the US tend to develop various health conditions like heart diseases, diabetes, and obesity. Because of the being uninsured, they are lacking the preventive care required to live a healthy lifestyle, thereby resulting in poor health condition. Not just that, there are underestimated cultural and language barriers that are a significant hindrance in the well-being of this population.
Here are some common Hispanic women health issues:
- Breast cancer
- Cervical cancer
- Cirrhosis and liver disease
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Mental health problems and suicide
- Overweight and obesity
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- Tuberculosis (TB)
Barriers leading to these diseases
The unfortunate plight of Hispanic women has origins in the society. Here are some barriers causing the problem.
Most Hispanic women are not well versed with English. They rarely get the exposure needed to learn the language. Most Hispanic women are still not empowered enough to have a higher level of education. On the other hand, most doctors are not well versed with the language of these women. Studies indicate that only 28% of primary care physicians in the United States know Spanish, and only 17% of specialists in the US find themselves fluent in Spanish.
The health care culture in Latin countries is different from that of United States. Latin countries never ask for income verification for health care whereas income verification is an integral part of health care in the US. This is one of the reasons that create apprehension in the Hispanic population to avail healthcare services. Moreover, most Hispanics are familiar with the habit of getting over-the-counter drugs whereas, in the US, drugs are only available through prescription. Immigrant Hispanic women’s health also suffers due to poverty and lack of education.
The United States have various immigration statutes that apply to the Hispanic women. Most of them not being able to comprehend them well enough are scared of legal complications. They believe that availing free health care and Medicaid might land them in a trap of legal complications
Education and awareness are the only ways we can help the Hispanic women rise. Educating them about their rights and empowering them with awareness might change the scenario in future.