3035.0: Monday, November 13, 2000 - 1:00 PM

Abstract #13283

Economic Development, Urbanization and the Incidence of Hepatitis A: A Case Study of the Texas-Mexico Border

Simon A. Andrew, MA and Pamela S. Meyer, PhD. Department of Social Sciences, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, 6300 Ocean Drive, Corpus Christi, TX 78412, (361) 825-5818, simonandrew@mindspring.com

Although the reported incidence of hepatitis A is high along the Texas-Mexico border, few studies have addressed the variation among counties in this area. Hepatitis A cases are predominant in lower socioeconomic conditions such as those in the colonias that have sprung up in most border counties. Population growth due to rapid economic development and urbanization processes coupled with inadequate sanitation facilities, poor sewage, and pluvial drainage are ideal conditions for transmission of hepatitis A. A panel regression technique was used to examine the differences in economic development and urbanization, and the impact they might have on 31 counties along the border between 1990 and 1997. When the dependent variable (hepatitis A) was lagged against the independent variables (economic development and urbanization), the model showed a moderately strong correlation at the 95 percent confidence level, indicating that a county with higher economic development but lower urbanization score tends to have a lower incidence of hepatitis A. This study refutes the notion that the border region is a homogeneous entity and suggests the incidence of hepatitis A may vary according to the level of urbanization and economic development in each county. If future environmental health problems are to be curbed along the border counties, resources and efforts to include relatively low income residents into mainstream economic development would be essential. This is especially so in counties where there is a high population of colonia residents.

Learning Objectives: 1. Recognize the influence of economic development on hepatitis A. 2. Recognize the influence of urbanization on hepatitis A. 3. Describe the multifaceted nature of hepatitis A in Texas-Mexico border counties. 4. Appreciate the complexity of border health issues

Keywords: Hepatitis A, Infrastructure

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA