Hispanics' Health: Explanations of and Attempts to Meet Unmet Needs
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Health disparities between Hispanics and whites are a complex topic. The disparities themselves differ depending on the health indicator measured. Even the measurements themselves reveal biases, making it difficult to know how accurate our data is. Despite these issues, there are a number of indicators that health disparities between Hispanics and whites are as drastic as those between African Americans and whites. Just as the disparities are difficult to identify, so are the causes. Various theories have been developed to explain disparities, identifying cultural, socioeconomic and psychosocial causes. Each of these theories explains an aspect of the disparities, but none can explain their entirety. Likewise, a variety of programs have been developed to address the causes identified by theory. No single program is able to address all the causes identified by the different theories. Often, programs are forced to adapt theoretical causes at the societal level to a local level.