Thursday, 10 July 2008: 8:50 AM
Learning Objective 1: Discuss two major health disparities found in residens living in colonias located in along the US Mexico Border.
Learning Objective 2: Decribe the impact of health disparities on Hispanics living in poverty conditions along the US Mexico Border.
Little is known about how health disparities affect the health status and general health perceptions of Hispanics. The purpose of this study was to conduct a health survey of participants living in one of two Colonia communities located on the border between El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico. A randomized household sampling included 217 participants in a Colonia on the U.S. side of the border and 274 participants in a Colonia on the Mexico side of the border. Instruments included a demographic questionnaire, the SASH, ISS, CAGE, and the SF36v2. This presentation reports on the incidences among individuals living in Colonias along the US/Mexico (El Paso and Juarez) regarding the use of alcohol and smoking and the impact on their function health status. On average the participants reported at least three incidences per month of binge drinking (3.08 times per month). In addition, on average 21.2% had thought about cutting down on their drinking with higher percentage (26.4%) in Juarez (df =1; p=.002) wanting to cut done. The CAGE scores (> 2 means potential problems with alcohol) for the total population was 3.28 with the highest score (3.35) in Juarez for 17 of the participants. The smoking rate was quite high with 26.7% reporting smoking with 34.2% having smoked over a 100 cigarettes in their lifetime. The SF36vr2 (functional health) scores despite high incidences of alcohol use and high rates of smoking in the participants mirrored the normative averages. Given the known risk factors with alcohol and smoking the long terms impacts on the health of the residents will be forthcoming. Given the high incidences of poverty and limited education aggressive programs to assist these at risk individuals are urgently needed.