, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 596-601
Date: 11 Sep 2011

Age-Related Differences in Biomedical and Folk Beliefs as Causes for Diabetes and Heart Disease Among Mexican Origin Adults

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An understanding of health beliefs is key to creating culturally appropriate health services for Hispanic populations in the US. In this study we explore age-based variations in causal beliefs for heart disease and diabetes among Mexican origin adults in Houston, TX. This cross-sectional study included 497 adults of Mexican origin. Participants were asked to indicate the importance of biomedically defined and folk illness-related risk factors as causes for heart disease and diabetes. Biomedical risk factors were ranked highest as causes of diabetes and heart disease among all participants. Folk illness-related factors were ranked below biomedical factors as causes of heart disease among all age groups. Susto was ranked above the median as a risk factor for diabetes among older participants. Age-related differences in causal beliefs may have implications for designing culturally appropriate health services, such as tailored diabetes interventions for older Mexican origin adults.