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Health issues 1. Physical activity Data regarding physical activity among Puerto Rican individuals are sparse. It is clear that these individuals have relatively high rates of obesity

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Introduction

Health issues 1. Physical activity Data regarding physical activity among Puerto Rican individuals are sparse. It is clear that these individuals have relatively high rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease, all of which are often accompanied by relative physical inactivity. However, this assumption must be regarded as no more than a hypothesis. 2. Overweight and obesity Puerto Rican diet tends to be relatively high in calories, fat, complex carbohydrates, and sodium. It is somewhat deficient in calcium and vegetables. Younger individuals have abandoned the traditional diet for a more Americanized diet that includes a great deal of fast food, pizza, hot dogs, canned spaghetti, and cold cereals. As a result of diet, as well as related factors, Puerto Ricans suffer disproportionately from diabetes (three to five times the general population), high blood pressure, cancer, arthritis, gastrointestinal disorders, and obesity. The rate of obesity among Puerto Rican males overall was reported in 1984 to be 25%, 15% at age 20-24, to 31% at age 65-74. ...read more.

Middle

These women tended to be poorly educated, and to have limited access to early pre-natal care. Puerto Ricans have been reported to be at greater risk of contracting AIDS through sexual contact and drug use than other Hispanic groups. In particular, transmission through drug use is quite high, with heterosexual sexual transmission also much higher than in other groups. Prevention strategies must focus on the values and beliefs of the group, and recognize their particular modes of transmission (e.g. the relative popularity of "shooting galleries"). 6. Mental health Among Puerto Rican children in the mainland U.S., rates of depression are reported to be low. This finding is in conflict with reports that in Puerto Rico, the rate of childhood depression is higher than in the U.S. (35% as compared with 9%). Overall, Latino adults report lower rates of psychological problems than the U.S. population overall, although rates of psychological problems among Puerto Ricans are somewhat higher than for other Latino groups. Problems included in the survey reporting these data included affective disorders, substance abuse, and anxiety disorders. ...read more.

Conclusion

On the island of Puerto Rico, as elsewhere, efforts to provide access to immunizations have been instituted. Many of these, particularly those that are attentive to language and culture, seem to be relatively successful. 10. Access to health care It is generally true that minority Americans have a more difficult time accessing healthcare than white citizens. This applies to Puerto Rican individuals as it does to most other minority groups. In 1984, Puerto Ricans were reported as having the lowest rate of health insurance at 40% of the population. By 2000, the number had been reduced to 33%, still much higher than the 14% reported in the population of the U.S. overall. At least 25% of Puerto Ricans report failure to receive needed care within a 12 month period. Preventive care, such as pap smears, cholesterol testing, or blood pressure checks are particularly difficult for Puerto Rican individuals to obtain. Latinos as a group tend to underutilize health services, especially mental health care. Barriers encountered include economics, language, and cultural factors. Individuals of Puerto Rican descent believe that their care would be better if the provider were also Puerto Rican. ...read more.

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