Exploring the Association of Homicides in Northern Mexico and Healthcare Access for US Residents
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Many legal residents in the United States (US)–Mexico border region cross from the US into Mexico for medical treatment and pharmaceuticals. We analyzed whether recent increases in homicides in Mexico are associated with reduced healthcare access for US border residents. We used data on healthcare access, legal entries to the US from Mexico, and Mexican homicide rates (2002–2010). Poisson regression models estimated associations between homicide rates and total legal US entries. Multivariate difference-in-difference linear probability models evaluated associations between Mexican homicide rates and self-reported measures of healthcare access for US residents. Increased homicide rates were associated with decreased legal entries to the US from Mexico. Contrary to expectations, homicides did not have significant associations with healthcare access measures for legal residents in US border counties. Despite a decrease in border crossings, increased violence in Mexico did not appear to negatively affect healthcare access for US border residents.
KeywordsAccess to health care Health services geographic accessibility US–Mexico border region Violence
We would like to thank Sheila Leatherman and Frank Sloan for helpful comments on earlier drafts of this manuscript. This project was supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, US Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, MD (Grant number R36HS021074). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Dr. Geissler also received support from the Lovick P. Corn Dissertation Fellowship, the University of North Carolina Royster Society of Fellows, and the Robert and Kristen Greczyn Scholarship in Public Health.
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