contact us | site map | PHMC Home
Community Health Data Base
An Information Service of the Philadelphia Health Management Corporation

Serious Health Disparities Persist Between Latino Adults and Other Groups in SEPA, According To Local Study
Wednesday. November 15, 2006

Philadelphia—As the topic of health disparities continues to garner national attention, a local study reports that Latino adults in Southeastern Pennsylvania are more likely to be in poor health than adults of other races and ethnicities. According to the Philadelphia Health Management Corporation’s (PHMC) Community Health Data Base Project, Latino adults in the five-county Southeastern Pennsylvania (SEPA) area have disease rates and barriers to accessing health care at disproportionately higher rates than their racial and ethnic counterparts.

In particular, PHMC’s 2004 Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey, a survey of more than 10,000 households in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties, found that:
·  20.0% of Latino adults do not have health insurance coverage, followed by 17.4% of Asian, 12.2% of African-American, and 5.2% of White adults.
·  One-in-seven Latino (14.3%) and African-American (14.0%) adults has been diagnosed with diabetes, compared to 7.5% of White and 3.9% of Asian adults.
·  Three-out-of-ten Latino (30.2%) and African-American (29.4%) adults have experienced extreme stress in the past year, compared to 22.5% of White and 13.8% of Asian adults.
·  Nearly one-third of Latino (31.6%) and African-American (30.4%) adults say they are in “fair or poor health,” compared to 16.4% of White and 12.8% of Asian adults.

In addition to disparities in health conditions, Latino adults are more likely to have trouble accessing healthy food where they live. In particular:
·  Latino (6.1%) and African-American (8.3%) adults are more likely than White (2.7%) and Asian (2.5%) adults to have problems locating fruits or vegetables in their neighborhood.
·  Two-fifths of Latino (40.1%) and African-American (39.7%) adults, compared to approximately three-tenths of Asian (30.2%) and White (27.2%) adults, have had to travel outside of their neighborhood to reach a supermarket.

The PHMC report also included an overview of disparities in death rates for Latinos. For example, according to the Bureau of Health Statistics and Research, Pennsylvania Department of Health, and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health:
·  Aggregated mortality rates from1999-2002 show that Latino adults have the second highest mortality rate for homicide (14 deaths per 100,000 adults) and are five times more likely to die of homicide than White (2.8) and Asian (2.3) adults in SEPA.

PHMC is a non-profit, public health organization committed to improving the health of the community through outreach, education, research, planning, technical assistance, and direct services. The Household Health Survey is conducted by PHMC’s Community Health Data Base Project, which is funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, The William Penn Foundation, The United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, and a variety of participating agencies from the health, government, nonprofit, and academic sectors.
Results from PHMC’s 2006 Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey will be available in February 2007. To be placed on the Household Health Survey e-mail list, contact Johanna Trowbridge at

For more information on the minority health disparities in Southeastern Pennsylvania, please contact Francine Axler, Senior Research Associate, at 215-985-2521 or Additional Survey findings are located online at