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Children in non-English-speaking households face many health disparities, researcher concludes
Date:6/10/2008

DALLAS June 11, 2008 Children in U.S. households where English is not the primary language experience multiple disparities in health care, a UT Southwestern Medical Center researcher has found.

In a study available in June's online issue of Pediatrics, Dr. Glenn Flores, professor of pediatrics at UT Southwestern and lead author, used statistics from the National Survey of Children's Health to examine whether disparities exist for non-English primary language (NEPL) children in medical and dental health compared to households where English is the primary language.

"Although 55 million Americans speak a language other than English at home, there has been little research on health disparities and NEPL children," said Dr. Flores, who holds the Judith and Charles Ginsburg Chair in Pediatrics at UT Southwestern. "To my knowledge this is the first analysis to examine the impact of NEPL on medical and dental health, access to care and use of services in a nationally representative sample of U.S. children."

Conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, the survey used nationwide random sampling of households with children ages 18 and under. One child from each household was selected as the survey subject with 102,353 interviews of household caregivers completed in 2003 and 2004 in both English and Spanish. The survey is the largest and most diverse containing data on the primary languages spoken at home.

The researchers found that children in households where English is not the primary language are significantly more likely than children in English-speaking households to be poor and Latino or Asian/Pacific Islander. The NEPL children are also more likely to be overweight, have only fair or poor dental health, and be uninsured or sporadically insured. These children also made no medical or preventive dental visits during the previous year and had problems attaining specialty care.

"These children are
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Contact: Erin Prather Stafford
erin.pratherstafford@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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