Compared to non-Hispanic whites, Hispanics with asthma are less likely to be in the care of a regular doctor or clinic; less likely to be prescribed appropriate medicines; less likely to have access to specialized care; and more likely to end up being treated in the emergency department or hospitalized in a crisis.
These findings are part of a new study released in both Spanish and English this week by the American Lung Association: Luchando por el Aire: The Burden of Asthma on Hispanics
The report details the factors that keep Latinos from being able to manage their asthma so as to prevent trips to the emergency room.
According to the report:
When it comes to managing their asthma, Hispanics also face other burdens that are due to the environment, poverty and stress. For example, Hispanics are 165 percent more likely to live in counties with unhealthy levels of particulate matter pollution, and 51 percent more likely to live in counties with unhealthy levels of ozone compared to non-Hispanic whites.
They are also more likely to work in low-paying agriculture, construction and service jobs that rarely provide health benefits and often expose workers to serious respiratory hazards.
Another startling finding of the report is that Puerto Ricans have higher rates of the disease than any other group, including African Americans who have some of the highest rates of asthma.
Because there is no cure for asthma, it’s vitally important that Latinos afflicted with the disease not just learn how to manage it and treat it, but create as healthy a living environment as possible.
Yet, Congress and the Obama administration are making that goal for Latino families farther to reach with either talk or outright tabling of air and environmental standards.
If ever there was proof that the Environmental Protection Agency is an ally in safeguarding lives rather than a “job destroyer,” as some politicians would have us believe, this report shows it.
Thank you, Marisa!
Marisa Treviño, a 17-year career award-winning journalist, is the President of Treviño TodaMedia and founder and publisher of the nationally recognized English-language Latino news site Latina Lista. Drawing on her experience as an opinion journalist, Treviño supplies the daily heart, or blog post, of Latina Lista touching on the issues of the day that face the Latino community. Latina Lista has been recognized by Hispanic magazine, Hispanic Business and the Daily Reviewer as one of the top Chicana/Hispanic new media sites in the country. Treviño was awarded in 2011 the “Groundbreaking Latina Blogger of the Year” award by Catalina magazine and was a 2011 nominee for the national Latinos in Social Media (LATISM) award for Best Political Blogger. In addition, her columns and news posts appear in USA Today, the Texas Observer, the Rio Grande Guardian and nationally in both English and Spanish. She has been interviewed on NPR, CNN, Al Jazeera English and CNN.com regarding her political perspective as it relates to the Latino community. Aside from Latina Lista and her print columns, Treviño is an award-winning playwright. She lives with her family in the greater Dallas Metroplex.