For reasons both economic and cultural, Hispanic men are loath to interact with the health system. Women across all races are more likely to seek care than men. But the gender gap in the Hispanic community is especially troubling to health care providers. Studies show that Latino men are much less likely than Latinas to get treatment.
That is true even though Hispanic men are more likely than non-Hispanic whites to be obese, have diabetes or have high blood pressure. Those who drink tend to do so heavily, contributing to the group’s higher rates of alcoholic cirrhosis and deaths from
Welcomed by Baltimore officials, immigrants have driven the city’s Hispanic population, tripling it to 30,000 since 2000. Here, as elsewhere, evidence suggests that for many Hispanic men, seeking health care is an extraordinary event. Hospital data show they are more likely than Hispanic women, white women and white men to go to the emergency room as their primary source of treatment — a sign that they wait until they’ve no choice but to get help.
Some care providers say medical institutions haven’t done enough to keep Hispanic men healthy, or to persuade them to get regular exams. “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, which represents the nation’s 50,000 Latino physicians.
There are some significant differences in health risk and illness rates among Hispanic subgroups — Puerto Ricans are more likely to be smokers, for example. Compared with Hispanics born in the U.S., those born elsewhere have much lower rates of cancer, heart disease
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