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English-speaking Hispanic youth more likely to have sex early

istently is associated with better health and health outcomes, even though immigrant populations often have a higher prevalence of risk factors associated with worse health outcomes, such as poverty, lack of health insurance, and fewer visits to health care professionals."

"A greater understanding of the healthy immigrant effect has the potential to help to improve the health and health outcomes of all children," the authors write. "Precise identification of the salutary components of traditional Latino culture and unhealthy aspects of U.S. culture could produce fresh approaches and innovations to prevent morbidity and mortality in children from all racial/ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Research documents that less acculturation in Latino children and their parents is associated with lower infant and postneonatal mortality, decreased low birth weight rates, better immunization coverage, a healthier diet, possibly a lower prevalence of asthma and allergies, less sexual activity in adolescents, fewer suicide attempts, and decreased use of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs. This list includes some of the most important public health issues of our time."

"The discovery of a single unifying intervention that could reduce or prevent some or all of these conditions would be hailed as one of the great accomplishments of modern medicine," the authors conclude. "This is the most powerful argument for why we must gain a greater understanding of the influence of acculturation on children's health."

(Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2005; 159:295-297. Available post-embargo at www.archpediatrics.com.)


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Contact: Darci Slaten
520-626-7217
JAMA and Archives Journals
7-Mar-2005


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