A patient lies on bed with his hands above his belly.
A new study looks at the main causes of death and the wider healthcare picture in the U.S. Hispanic community. Photo: Pixabay.

The state of U.S. Hispanic health in 2023

The study used the most current data about health in the U.S. Hispanic community.


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HITN and Vida y Salud recently released their second annual annual State of Hispanic Health report, which makes use of the most relevant and current data on the health of the U.S. Hispanic community to shed light on the most pressing problems Latinos face.

Launched within the framework of National Minority Health Month, the study highlights the main causes of death among Hispanics, the most common diseases, everything related to primary care services, insurance, and much more.

Key findings 

Socioeconomic factors have the greatest impact on health, longevity and quality of life, as different risk factors come together in addition to the lack of access to health insurance, preventive care, detection early childhood and treatment. The U.S. Hispanic community has a poverty rate of 16% compared to 7% for non-Hispanic whites.

The most common conditions

  • Cancer is the leading cause of death in the Hispanic community (20.3%), followed by heart disease (19.7%) and unintentional accidents (8.9%).
  • Among Hispanic men, however, heart disease (20.2%) exceeds cancer, which remains the leading cause among women (22%).
  • Strokes are the third-leading cause of death among Hispanic women (6.5%), while for men it is unintentional accidents (11.3%).
  • Obesity (45.6%), diabetes (12.5%) and hypertension (45.1%), all of which are related to heart disease, continue to be the most common among Hispanics.
  • U.S.-born Hispanics may be more vulnerable to chronic diseases such as diabetes (22% higher risk), severe obesity (16% higher), liver disease (15% higher), and asthma (42% higher) than native-born Hispanics abroad.
  • According to data from the American Cancer Society, prostate and breast cancers are the most common cancers among Hispanic men and women, respectively.

Insurance and primary care

  • 17.7% of Hispanics do not have health insurance, compared to 5.7% of whites. According to the Census Bureau, disparities in health coverage by race and national origin persist despite the fact that more people now have access to health insurance after the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2014.
  • When it comes to primary care, 7 in 10 Hispanic adults say they have seen a doctor in the last 12 months. While most Hispanic adults offer positive feedback of the care they recently received, negative experiences with the healthcare system are also quite common: 52% say they have had at least one of several negative experiences with providers at some point in their lives.

COVID impact

  • Hispanics currently account for 24.5% of COVID-19 cases in the United States, second only to whites (53.6%).
  • 15.4% of deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. are Latino.

Mental health

  • 18.4% of Hispanics have a mental illness, a rate similar to the rest of the population. However, they are 50% less likely to receive appropriate treatment.
  • The most common mental health conditions in the Latino community are: Schizophrenia, generalized anxiety disorder, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and bipolar disorder.
  • An estimated 33% of Hispanic adults with mental illness receive treatment each year compared to the U.S. average of 43%.

Maternity and prenatal care

  • COVID had negative effects on the mortality rate of pregnant Hispanics. In 2020, for every 100,000 births, there were 18.2 deaths among Hispanic women, an increase from 12.6 in 2019. The risk was highest among women older than 40.
  • Hispanic mothers are 80% more likely to receive late prenatal care or no prenatal care compared to non-Hispanic white mothers.

Work Accidents

  • Hispanic and Latino workers account for 22.5% (1,072 fatalities) of workplace deaths.

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