Hispanics and Latinos are the second-largest racial group in the United States after non-Hispanic whites, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In fact, during the last 10 years, this group swelled from 50.5 million people in 2010 to 62.1 million in 2020 — an increase of 23%.
Pediatrix® Medical Group is committed to providing inclusive care that forges deeper and more meaningful connections with our patients and allows us to have a more significant impact on the communities we serve. In addition to supporting clinicians from diverse backgrounds and ensuring our teams reflect the diversity seen in our patient populations, we strive to provide inclusive, culturally sensitive care that recognizes and respects the cultural differences that make the Hispanic and Latinx communities unique.
Why Inclusive Care Matters
Hispanics are defined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as people of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South American, Central American or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race. The group currently comprises 18.7% of the U.S. population.
Hispanics and Latinx patients experience higher rates of several health conditions, including heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, HIV/AIDS, obesity and liver disease, according to HHS’s Office of Minority Health. In addition, this group also experiences higher rates of some maternal-fetal complications, according to Office of Minority Health research:
- Hispanic mothers are 80% as likely to receive late or no prenatal care than non-Hispanic white mothers.
- Central and South American mothers were 2.5 times as likely to receive late or no prenatal care than non-Hispanic white mothers.
- While the rate of low-birth-weight infants is lower for the total Hispanic population compared to non-Hispanic whites, Puerto Rican Americans have a low-birth-weight rate that is almost twice that of non-Hispanic whites.
- Puerto Ricans also disproportionately experience infant loss. In fact, Puerto Ricans have a 20% higher infant mortality rate than non-Hispanic whites. Further, Puerto Rican infants are 2.5 times as likely to die from causes related to maternal complications.
However, the data also provides some encouraging news: the 2020 life expectancies at birth for Hispanics are 84.2 years for women and 79.9 years for men, compared with 82.7 years for non-Hispanic white women and 78.4 years for non-Hispanic white men.
Overcoming Barriers with Inclusive Care
Health disparities among Hispanics are fueled by barriers to care, such as lack of adequate health insurance, lack of access to preventive care, immigration status concerns and language and cultural barriers, according to experts.