Center for Reducing Health Disparities

Health Profile of Nebraska’s Latino Population – Report Available

Health Profile coverThe University of Nebraska Medical Center’s (UNMC) Center for Reducing Health Disparities together with the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s (UNO) Office of Latino and Latin American Studies (OLLAS), have released a report and policy brief describing the serious health problems facing the growing Latino and immigrant populations in Nebraska and Iowa, particularly the Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area.

The Health Profile Report focuses on the overall health disparities facing the Latino population, which grew by nearly 93 percent between 2000 and 2010 in Nebraska.  Below are some of the highlights of the report.

Nebraska Latino Health Status Highlights:

  • Over 35% of Hispanic/Latino adults aged 18 to 64 years old do not have a personal physician.
  • One quarter of Hispanics/Latinos rated their health status as either “fair” or “poor”.16
  • Almost one third of the Hispanic/Latino population is uninsured.[1]
  • Almost one quarter of Latinas received inadequate prenatal care.[2]
  • Close to 10% of Hispanic/Latino adults surveyed through the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System from 2006 to 2010 had more than 10 days in the past month where they mentally did not feel well.18  Almost a quarter of Latino youth felt sad and hopeless during the past year.[3]  About 14% of Hispanics/Latinos report that they never get any emotional support.[4]
  • Obesity, measured by a level of BMI at 30 or above, was higher for Hispanics/Latinos than for other groups.
  • More than one-third of Hispanics/Latinos have no exercise outside of work. [5]
  • The overall STD rate for Hispanics/Latinos was nearly three times the rate for Whites.[6]  Also, Latinos bear a disproportionate burden of the HIV epidemic, with a mortality rate that was 3 times that of Whites.
  • The teen birth rate for Latina girls was 4.9 times the rate of White girls.
  • Hispanic/Latino students were more likely to smoke cigarettes on one or more of the past 30 days than their White peers.[7]

Given these complex challenges, the solutions to addressing health disparities among Hispanics/Latinos require comprehensive, inter-sectoral, multi-level, community-wide interventions and policy changes that address not only health, but also the social determinants of health – the circumstances in which people are born, grow up, live, work, and age, as well as the healthcare systems in place to deal with illness.[12]  Policies across sectors such as education, economic development, housing, immigration, public safety, and healthcare can directly or indirectly impact disparate populations, including Latinos.  Efforts to revitalize poor neighborhoods, improve the quality of schools and access to public services, guarantee access to healthy foods, and ensure culturally-competent community services and equitable policies that link Latinos to economic opportunities are promising strategies that can significantly improve the health of Latino communities in Nebraska and across the country.  Indeed, ending racial and ethnic health disparities is a major challenge—but one that can be met if the research, public health practices, education and training, government, outreach, and service sectors work together

[1] U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 American Community Survey.

[2] Nebraska Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2006-2010.

[3] Nebraska Youth Risk Behavior Survey. 2010 Survey Results.  Retrieved on December 19, 2012 from

[4] Nebraska Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2006-2010.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Nebraska DHHS STD program, 2006-2010.

[7] Nebraska Youth Behavioral Risk Factor Survey, 2011.

[8] Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Proyecto HEAL.

[9] Escarce JJ, Morales LS, Rumbaut RG. The Health Status and Health Behaviors of Hispanics. In: National Research Council (US) Panel on Hispanics in the United States; Tienda M, Mitchell F, editors. Hispanics and the Future of America. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2006. 9. Available from: Bookshelf. A service of the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.  National Research Council (US) Panel on Hispanics in the United States; Tienda M, Mitchell F, editors. Hispanics and the Future of America. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2006.

[10] Ibid.

[11] United Way of the Midlands. (2003). Profile of Latino Youth.

[12] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Social Determinants of Health. Retrieved on January 9, 2013 from




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One thought on “Health Profile of Nebraska’s Latino Population – Report Available

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