221252 Hispanic health paradox through a new lens: Birth outcomes in the rural southeast

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 2:45 PM - 3:00 PM

Heather B. Edelblute, MPH , Carolina Population Center, UNC-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Despite low socioeconomic status (SES) and compromised access to care, immigrant women from Mexico have better birth outcomes than blacks, US-born Hispanics, and low SES whites. This phenomenon is referred to as the Hispanic health paradox since it goes against the established relationship that SES has to human health in the US. One explanation for this paradox is that women from Latin American countries come from places with strong normative environments conducive to healthy pregnancies. Their lack of assimilation to US culture and its risky behaviors is protective against adverse birth outcomes. Another explanation is that immigrant women have strong social networks composed of other immigrant families that mitigate the effects of poverty and provide informal systems of care.

While the assimilation and social network arguments of the Hispanic health paradox have been examined in traditional immigrant receiving states, they have not been examined in rural areas or in the “new” south. This presentation draws on geocoded birth records for a rural county in southeast North Carolina to look at the Hispanic health paradox with immigrants from Mexico and Central/South America.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the role that spatially oriented social networks may play for Latino immigrant women in a new immigrant receiving state.

Keywords: Reproductive Health Research, Migrant Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a background in immigrant health and education in the southeast.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.