237694 Health conditions in children of Latino immigrants: Does the epidemiological paradox extend beyond birth outcomes?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Yolanda C. Padilla, PhD, MSSW , Population Research Center & School of Social Work, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
Erin R. Hamilton, PhD , Department of Sociology, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA
Jodi Berger Cardoso, MSSW , School of Social Work and Population Research Center, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
Robert A. Hummer, PhD , Population Research Center & Department of Sociology, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
Despite socioeconomic disadvantage, children of Latino immigrants (second generation) have comparable birth outcomes to children of non-Latino whites, a phenomenon known as the epidemiological paradox. We know less about whether their health advantage is sustained through childhood. The purpose of this study was to examine the health of Latino children ages 3 to 17 by assessing the rates of various health conditions of first, second, and third-plus generation children. Comparisons were also drawn with white, black, and Asian children. Using data for more than 70,000 children from the 2007 National Survey of Children's Health, we document a graded pattern whereby the incidence of reported health problems increases across generation. By the third-plus generation, Latino children, like black children, have higher rates of most poor health outcomes than do white or Asian children. The pattern is notably pronounced for three health conditions that are especially common in childhood, allergies, asthma, and developmental problems, which affect, respectively, 28%, 15%, and 20% of all children. For example, the proportion of Latino children with allergies increases by 60% across generations (from 16.3% for first and 17.3% for second generation, to 26.2% for third-plus generation). The pattern persists in multivariate regression models accounting for differences in healthcare access, socioeconomic status and family structure, home health environment, social support, and neighborhood conditions. Recognizing and building on the healthy beginnings of new generations of Latino children needs to be a priority in the face of threats to health posed by widespread poverty and limited access to healthcare.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the relationship between generational status and chronic health conditions in Latino children. 2. Identify the prevalence of chronic health conditions of Latino children in comparison to black, white, and Asian chilren. 3. Discuss the effects of healthcare access, socioeconomic status and family structure, home health environment, social support, and neighborhood conditions on generational differences in childhood health conditions.

Keywords: Latino Caucus, Immigrants

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am a population studies researcher specializing in the study of Latino maternal and child health with background as principal investigator of NIH-funded related studies.
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.