AJPH News Release
EMBARGOED UNTIL May 14, 2009, 4 PM (ET)
CONTACT: For copies of articles, call Patricia Warin, 202-777-2511, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The articles below will be published online May 14, 2009, at 4 p.m. (ET) by the American Journal of Public Health under “First Look” at http://www.ajph.org/first_look.shmtl, and they are currently scheduled to appear in the July 2009 print issue of the Journal. “First Look” articles have undergone peer review, copyediting and approval by authors but have not yet been printed to paper or posted online by issue. The American Journal of Public Health is published by the American Public Health Association, www.apha.org, and is available at www.ajph.org. To stay up to date on the latest in public health research, sign up for new Journal content e-mail alerts at http://www.ajph.org/subscriptions/etoc.shtml>ck=nck.
American Journal of Public Health Highlights:
· Differences in generation and language preference among Mexican-American women may influence their reproductive decisions
· Insured immigrants spend less on medical expenses than insured US-born citizens
· Elderly persons living with a spouse report better preventive care use than those living alone or with children
Differences in generation and language preference among Mexican-American women may influence their reproductive decisions
A new study claims that Mexican-American women who are second- or later generation and who use more English than Spanish are more likely to be sexually active, to be younger at first intercourse, and to have had more male sexual partners than are first-generation women and women who use more Spanish than English.
Later generation women and those who use more English than Spanish are also more likely to have a better education, a higher household income and private health insurance. Third generation women are more likely to deliver a low birthweight baby than first generation women.
Mexican-American women who are first generation and who use more Spanish than English drink less frequently and are less likely to be currently smoking. They are also more likely to breastfeed their babies for at least one month.
Using personal interview and medical examination data gathered during 1999 to 2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, researchers examined the health of Mexican-American women aged 15 to 44 years to analyze influences on reproductive choices.
The study’s authors said, “Our study provides generation and language-preference groupings as surrogate measures of acculturation that can be used to develop appropriate health messages and intervention strategies for increasing access to care and promoting healthy behaviors in this rapidly growing population” [From: “Health Disparities among Mexican American Women Aged 15-44 Years: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999-2004.” Contact: Diane Green, CDC, Atlanta, email@example.com]
Insured immigrants have lower medical expenses than insured US-born citizens
A nationally representative study found that immigrants spent less on medical expenses than their US-born counterparts, even after controlling for level of health insurance coverage and other confounding factors.
Researchers used data for non-elderly adults ages 19-64 from the 2003 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. They found that approximately 44 percent of recent immigrants and 63 percent of established immigrants were fully insured. Yet recent immigrants were responsible for only about 1 percent of public medical expenditures even though they constituted 5 percent of the population.
“These findings suggest, contrary to stereotypes, that insurance premiums paid for immigrants may actually be cross-subsidizing the medical expenses of those who are US born,” the study’s authors claimed. [From: “Health Insurance Coverage and Medical Expenditures of Immigrants and Native-Born Citizens in the United States.” Contact: Leighton Ku, Department of Health Policy, George Washington University, Leighton.firstname.lastname@example.org].
Elderly persons living with a spouse report better preventive care use than those living alone or with children
Elderly persons living with a spouse have more timely preventive service use than those living alone or with offspring. The sole exception is in the case of hypertension screening.
Data were taken from 13,038 community-dwelling elderly persons who participated in the 2002 to 2005 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. The study’s authors estimated the likelihood of preventive care use among elderly persons in four living arrangements: living with one’s spouse only (52 percent), living alone (38 percent), living with one’s spouse and with one’s adult offspring (5 percent), and living with one’s adult offspring (5 percent). Preventive services included influenza vaccination; physical and dental checkups; and screenings for hypertension, cholesterol and colorectal cancer.
“Educational Outreach interventions should target not only those elderly adults who live alone but also those living with adult offspring” the authors said. [From: “The Relationship Between Living Arrangement and Preventive Care Use Among Community-Dwelling Elderly Persons.” Contact: Denys T. Lau, PhD. Buehler Center on Aging, Health & Society. Northwestern University. D-Lau@northwestern.edu].