Despite being the fastest growing economic group in the United States, when it comes to health, Latinos are oftentimes overlooked. Other ethnic groups, especially white Americans, have been well examined in many areas of health, yet not enough is known about the Latino population.
“Latinos are pretty much overlooked,” said Hector Gonzalez, a College of Human Medicine associate professor of epidemiology and bio-statistics. “We’re pretty much a very large but neglected population.”
Considering that Latinos made up a significant amount of the estimated $160 billion spent on biopharmaceuticals in 2011, more facts should be known.
A study performed by Gonzalez himself found that less than one percent of the almost 16,000 Latinos studied met all seven goals known as Life’s Simple 7. The goals, set by the American Heart Association, the goals include managing blood pressure, reducing cholesterol, lowering blood sugar, getting active, eating better, losing weight and stopping smoking.
Due to dietary differences, Latinos tend to have higher rates of obesity than the general population.
One group of researchers did not leave the Latino population out of its recent study, and the results were shocking. According to the Latin Post, the research found that Latino cancer patients between ages 15 and 29 are more likely to die within two years of being diagnosed than non-Hispanic whites.
Researchers from the University of Colorado Cancer Center studied cancer patients from three different ethnic groups. Results showed that Latinos had a risk baseline level of 1.77, compared to whites and blacks who measured at 1.76.
“This is a population that shouldn’t be getting cancer and it’s devastating when they do,” said said study author Meryl Colton, a medical student at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. “Knowing that a disparity exists allows us to ask questions that can help ensure everyone receives the best possible care.”