Hispanic Heritage Month Through the Lens of Health Equity

In Blog by Christine Boley

While taking a pause to honor the contributions, achievements, vibrance and brilliance of the Latino/Latinx community as Hispanic Heritage Month draws to a close, I couldn’t stop thinking about the importance of understanding and improving upon the long-standing social and economic inequities impacting the health and wellness of the second largest population in the U.S.

Despite being the second largest population in the U.S., did you know Hispanic Americans are almost 3 times more likely to be uninsured as non-Hispanic Caucasian Americans, according to the CDC?

This is where the importance of health equity comes into play.

What is Health Equity?

According to the CDC, Health equity is achieved when every person has the opportunity to ‘attain his or her full health potential’ and no one is ‘disadvantaged from achieving this potential because of social position or other socially determined circumstances.’ Health inequities are reflected in differences in length of life; quality of life; rates of disease, disability, and death; severity of disease; and access to treatment.”

Simply put, health equity is when everyone has the same opportunity to be as healthy as possible.

One of the greatest influences on health equity are social determinants of health (SDoH), which contribute to persistent chronic disease disparities among racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. That’s why so many teams in the healthcare ecosystem are focused on addressing the role of social determinants of health as a primary approach to achieving health equity. These teams depend on geographic and individual-level data that will allow them to gain a deeper understanding of the people, behaviors and predictors impacting health outcomes.

As a data curious team here at AnalyticsIQ, we took a closer look at the data and found some interesting parallels between our Ethnicity and Health & Wellness data and key health disparities cited by the CDC:

CDC DataAnalyticsIQ SDoH Insight
Hispanic adults are 3x more likely to be uninsured than non-Hispanic Caucasian adultsHispanic adults over-index as Wellbeing Bystanders. This group is unlikely to prioritize their healthcare and take a more passive role when it comes to exercise or following the doctor’s orders. Also, Wellbeing Bystanders are most likely to be in the market for health insurance and tend to shy away from making consistent appointments with their PCP.
Proportion of Hispanic adults with obesity is about 20% higher than non-Hispanic Caucasian adultsWellbeing Bystanders have the highest BMI of all the health and wellness groups. With irregular work hours, busy homes, and tight budgets, Wellbeing Bystanders let exercise fall to the wayside. Wellbeing Bystanders are also 1.5X as likely to have blue collar jobs, which may drive their lack of exercise outside of work hours.
Hispanic Health Disparities

Hispanic Heritage Month provides an opportunity to reflect on these disparities and focus on many opportunities to improve health equity across the community. Those solving for health equity have an opportunity to deepen their understanding of the SDoH factors impacting socially vulnerable populations by going beyond known health data and looking deeper into the hearts and minds of Hispanic Americans.

AnalyticsIQ blends cognitive psychology and sophisticated data science in the creation of individual and geographic level data to help organizations understand who people are, what people do, and the why driving an individual’s everyday decisions. Our data unlocks insight into social determinants of health, R.E.L., medical adherence/utilization, and more to help identify health disparities and improve population outcomes.