A driving force for health equity

New OCHIN Research Study: PAST-DUE (Prevention and Social Determinants: Disparities and Utilization in Latino Elders)

By:  Emily Youngers, MPH; Erika Cottrell, PhD, MPP; John Heintzman, MD, MPH

Latinos comprise the largest ethnic group in the United States (US) behind non-Hispanic whites, accounting for nearly 18% of the population. However, Latinos, have poorer health outcomes than their white counterparts, including higher rates of obesity, diabetes, and strokes, and are less likely to be up to date on their adult immunizations. This is particularly true among elder Latinos, and research suggests that this group in particular, underutilizes preventive services. Because of this, it is important to untangle the reasons for these disparities so that physicians and public health professionals can better serve this population.

OCHIN Research is working with Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) on a new project titled Prevention and Social Determinants: Disparities and Utilization in Latino Elders (PAST-DUE). This study is funded by the National Institute on Aging and led by Dr. John Heintzman, an Associate Professor of Family Medicine at OHSU and Lead Clinical Scientist at OCHIN, who is an expert in the field of Latino health disparities. The aim of the study is to examine how social determinants of health (SDH) impact the differences in receipt of preventive services in Latinos over the age of 60 compared to non-Hispanic whites, using data from the ADVANCE Clinical Data Research Network.

The study team will look at a variety of preventive services recommended for this age group by the US Preventive Services Task Force, including cancer screenings, immunizations, and chronic disease screenings and management. Independent variables will include individual-level SDH factors such as country of birth, length of residence in the US, preferred language, health insurance status, and income-level, among others, and community-level SDH factors such as neighborhood poverty level, healthcare provider density, dependency ratio (ratio of dependents to non-dependents in a community), and community proportion of Latino subgroups (Mexican heritage, Cuban heritage, Puerto Rican heritage, etc.).

Results of this study will shed light on how individual and community-level SDH impact receipt of preventive health care services, providing important contextual information for public health professionals developing targeted interventions and health care providers serving elder Latinos populations. 

If you have any questions about PAST-DUE study, please contact Emily Youngers, OCHIN Research Associate.