Health Issues in the Latino Community

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15th to October 15th. This month long celebration honors the cultures and contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America.

This one month period is significant for several Latin American countries with September 15 being independence day for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. September 16 is Mexico's independence day and Chile's is September18. 

L.A. Care wants you to know about five health issues facing the Latino community.

Blood Pressure

Many Latinos have high blood pressure or hypertension and struggle to manage it. Latinos are less likely to take medications for high blood pressure than other groups.

High cholesterol can lead to heart diseaseNearly half of Latinos in the United States are unaware that they have high cholesterol, and less than a third receive any kind of cholesterol treatment.

Type 2 Diabetes

Millions of Latinos have Type 2 Diabetes. Mexican-Americans are twice as likely to die from Diabetes as Caucasians/whites.


Nearly three out of four Latinos in L.A. County are overweight or obese. Latino children are also more likely to be overweight. Obesity is caused by poor nutrition and lack of exercise. People who are overweight are at greater risk for many health conditions.


Compared to Caucasians/whites, Latinos are more than twice as likely to go to the Emergency Room for Asthma issues. Latinos are also less likely to take preventive medication for asthma.

Preventive Care

In L.A., Latinos are less likely to see a doctor at least once per year compared to other groups. Fewer Latinos have health insurance, which limits access to healthcare.

Multi-generational Hispanic family runs in a park

What you can do to stay healthy

  • Exercise!
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables.
  • See your primary care provider regularly and ask what screenings you need.
  • Take medicines as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Quit smoking.

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