August 1991

Major Infectious Diseases Causing Excess Morbidity in the Hispanic Population

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio.

Arch Intern Med. 1991;151(8):1513-1520. doi:10.1001/archinte.1991.00400080029005

Current data indicate that there are a number of infectious diseases, ie, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome/human immunodeficiency virus infections, cysticercosis, hepatitis A, syphilis, tuberculosis, and typhoid fever, among others that cause disproportionately increased morbidity in Hispanics. The greater rate of poverty with its associated socioenvironmental problems, increased barriers to health care, and importation of infectious diseases endemic in the mother country are some of the major reasons that probably account for this disparity in disease burden in Hispanics. This formidable health problem can be addressed by targeting efforts at improving health education of family units and communities, environmental improvements, elimination or reduction of barriers to health care management and disease prevention, and appropriate screening programs. A comprehensive and uniform assessment of the impact of infectious diseases on Hispanics (and other minorities) in this country remains elusive, but is of paramount importance in establishing priorities and effective/efficient strategies to address this issue.

(Arch Intern Med. 1991;151:1513-1520