A new NPR/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/Harvard School of Public Health poll reveals that even though cancer has become the number one killer of Latinos in the country, diabetes continues to be the top health concern among this population.
“These findings are surprising,” said Robert J. Blendon, Sc.D., Richard L. Menschel Professor of Health Policy and Political Analysis at the Harvard School of Public Health. “Previous polls have shown that Latinos see cancer as the most important health problem facing the country. But when asked about their own families, Latinos cite diabetes as the biggest problem.”
About 19%, or nearly one in five Latinos said diabetes is the biggest health problem facing their families. Cancer came in second, with only 5%, or one in twenty Latinos citing the disease as their top concern. For both immigrants and non-immigrant Latinos, diabetes was the primary health concern, 16% and 22% respectively.
The poll takes pulse of the views and experiences of all Latinos, both immigrant and non-immigrant, as well as six separate Latino groups: those of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican, South American and Central American heritage.
Participants were also asked to rate the health services they received during the last twelve months. About one in five or 19% rated the health services they received as fair or poor. Over half of all Latinos (52%) are not confident that they would have enough money or health insurance to pay for a major illness.