142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Relationship between citizenship and legal status and BMI and hypertension among individuals of Mexican descent in Los Angeles

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 : 4:30 PM - 4:50 PM

Maria-Elena Young, MPH , Community Health Sciences, Fielding School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Background: In literature on Latino health disparities, few studies examine differences between Latino sub-groups.  Research is needed to understand the impact of citizenship and legal status on Latino health, either directly or through effects on socio-economic position and health care access.  Objective: I examine the associations of citizenship or legal status with BMI and hypertension and test for mediation and moderation by socio-demographic and health care characteristics.  Methods:  The sample included Mexican and Mexican-Americans in the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey.  The independent variable was based on self-identified citizenship or legal status.  The dependent variables included two measures each of BMI and hypertension. Socio-demographic and health care access measures were included. I tested hierarchical regression models of associations between each dependent variable and socio-demographic and health care measures and the independent variable.  I then tested for moderation and mediation by gender, employment, and health care access.  Results:  BMI and hypertension are high across all status groups.  There are significant differences in education, income, and employment; with the highest levels of disadvantage among the undocumented and visa and green card holders.  Preliminary findings indicate that US-born citizenship is associated with a 7% greater BMI (ß, 0.07; CI 0.3-1.84).  Having a place to receive health care is the strongest predictor of hypertension diagnosis (OR, 1.72; CI 1.24-2.39).  Conclusion: This study illuminates the complex relationships between citizenship and legal status and health.  It demonstrates significant disparities in socio-economic position and access to health care, key determinants of health outcomes, across these groups.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Identify 2-3 social and economic aspects of citizenship and legal status which may affect health disparities within Latino populations. Describe the direct and moderated impact of citizenship and legal status on BMI and hypertension among a population of Mexican descent.

Keyword(s): Latinos, Hypertension

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have extensive experience working in Latino communities to promote health and address social determinants of health. This work has led to my current doctoral studies which focus on the impact of immigration policies on health outcomes among Latino immigrants, with a particular focus on the creation of legal status and immigrants' rights. The current study was conducted as part of preparation for my dissertation.
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.