New Report Focused on Hispanic Adults Aims to Reduce Health Disparities

For Immediate Release: December 30, 2014

LANSING, Mich. – As the Hispanic population in Michigan grows, the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) remains committed to improving the availability of data for racial and ethnic minorities. In keeping with this priority, the MDCH Health Disparities Reduction and Minority Health Section (HDRMHS) arranged for a stand-alone survey in 2012, the Hispanic Behavioral Risk Factor Survey (HBRFS), among Hispanics in Michigan.

The full report, “Health Risk Behaviors among Hispanic Adults within the State of Michigan, 2012” presents the results of the survey. Data from the 2012 survey provides important information needed to help develop effective and culturally appropriate programs and services for Hispanics in Michigan. The HBRFS is currently being conducted again for 2014, and ongoing continuation of this survey will allow for more precise health estimates and changes over time to be measured for Hispanic adults. The 2012 HBRFS is the first survey to focus on Hispanic adults in Michigan and to provide state-specific, population-based estimates for various health behaviors, medical conditions, and preventive health care practices.

The 2012 report shows that for a few of the health indicators, Hispanics faced more challenges than all other adults in Michigan. These challenges include lack of health care access due to cost, and worrying about having enough money to buy nutritious meals. In 2012, 26 percent of Hispanic adults reported not seeing the doctor within the past 12 months due to cost, a rate significantly higher than the 15.1 percent reported overall by Michigan adults. Additionally, 33.6 percent Hispanic adults reported worrying about having enough money to purchase nutritious meals within the past year, again, a rate higher than the 21.9 percent average for Michigan adults.

The comparison of health indicators for Hispanic adults to White, non-Hispanic adults was very similar to the trend of Hispanic adults to all adults in Michigan. Hispanics were worse for a few additional indicators including obesity. In 2012, Hispanic adults (40.5 percent) reported a significantly higher prevalence of obesity than White, non-Hispanics (29.9 percent). Hispanic adults were also 1.4 times more likely than white, non-Hispanic adults in Michigan to be classified as obese.

A summary report entitled “Health Status of Hispanic Adults in Michigan” was created to accompany the full report. Both of the reports are available online at:http://www.michigan.gov/mdch/0,4612,7-132-2945_5104_5279_39424_39429-134736--,00.html. To view other reports conducted by the MDCH HDRMHS, please visit www.michigan.gov/minorityhealth.

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