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ACP-ASIM Pressroom

ACP-ASIM Releases Report On Health Risks Faced by Uninsured Latinos

March 22, 2000

Uninsured Latino Children With Asthma Are Six Times More Likely Not To Receive Standard Medical Treatment

(WASHINGTON): Latinos suffer significantly worse health outcomes than non-Latinos due in large part to a lack of health insurance, according to a new study released today by the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP-ASIM). The report, No Health Insurance? It's Enough to Make You Sick: Latino Community at Great Risk, found that while Latinos account for only 11.7 percent of the U.S. population, they represent more than 25 percent of the uninsured population.

"This lack of health insurance has a devastating effect on Latino health outcomes," said ACP-ASIM President Whitney Addington, MD, FACP. "Like the rest of the population without insurance, it means they tend to live sicker and die younger."

Some of the report's major findings include:

  • Incidences of diabetes-related end-stage renal disease in the Latino population is up to six times greater than in the non-Latino white population.
  • Mexican-American men and women are up to three and a half times less likely to seek care to control hypertension than the general population.
  • Uninsured Latino women with breast cancer are more than twice as likely to be diagnosed at a later stage compared to non-Latinos.
  • Uninsured Latino men with prostate cancer are almost four times more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage than non-Latinos.
  • Uninsured Latino children with asthma are six times more likely not to receive standard medical treatment than non-Latinos.

"Early detection and treatment is the key to the effective management of diseases such as diabetes and cancer," said Dr. Addington. "Yet, the lack of health insurance among Latinos means many members of this population are destined to undergo needless suffering and even death."

Both Democratic and Republican Representatives from districts with large numbers of Latino citizens joined Dr. Addington at the event releasing the paper, including Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and Rep. Robert Menendez (D-NJ).

The paper is the second in a series of studies that ACP-ASIM is releasing to document the health consequences of being uninsured. The first paper in the series, which examined the overall impact on uninsured Americans, was published on November 30. A third paper is planned on the health consequences for uninsured women.

ACP-ASIM is the nation's largest medical specialty organization and the second largest physician group. Membership comprises more than 115,000 internal medicine physicians and medical students. Internists are the major providers of medical care to adults in America.

Jack E. Pope, ACP-ASIM Washington Office, (202) 261-4556

Page updated: 11-03-03

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