Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 415–426

Hispanic Health Disparities After a Flood Disaster: Results of a Population-Based Survey of Individuals Experiencing Home Site Damage in El Paso (Texas, USA)

  • Timothy W. Collins
  • Anthony M. Jimenez
  • Sara E. Grineski
Original Paper

Abstract

In 2006, El Paso County, a predominantly Hispanic urban area, was affected by a flood disaster; 1,500 homes were damaged. We assessed the health impacts of the disaster upon 475 individuals whose homes were flood-damaged using mail survey data and logistic regression. Substantial proportions of individuals had one or more physical (43 %) or mental (18 %) health problem in the four months following the floods; 28 % had one or more injury or acute effect related to post-flood cleanup. Adverse event experiences, older age, and lower socioeconomic status were significantly associated with negative post-flood health outcomes in all three logistic regression models. A lack of access to healthcare, non-US citizenship, and English proficiency were significant predictors of negative outcomes in both the physical and mental health models, while Hispanic ethnicity (physical), native-birth (mental), and more serious home damage (cleanup) were significant predictors in one model each. The disaster had disproportionate negative health impacts on those who were more exposed, poorer, older, and with constrained resource-access. While a lack of US citizenship and Hispanic ethnicity were associated with higher risks, being less acculturated (i.e., English-deficient, foreign-born) may have protected against health impacts.

Keywords

Flood disaster Physical and mental health Acculturation Hispanic El Paso (TX) 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy W. Collins
    • 1
  • Anthony M. Jimenez
    • 1
  • Sara E. Grineski
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Sociology and AnthropologyUniversity of Texas at El Paso (UTEP)El PasoUSA

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