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Monday, August 18, 2008

Marketing more effective than doctors for Hispanics' medical info?

More than one in four Hispanic adults in the United States lack a usual health care provider and a similar proportion report obtaining no health care information from medical professionals in the past year, according to a report released by the Pew Hispanic Center and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

At the same time, the report finds that more than eight in 10 receive health information from alternative sources, such as television and radio. This includes most of those who get no information from doctors or other medical professionals. "Nearly as many Hispanics get health information from television as from doctors and medical professionals," said Susan Minushkin, Pew Hispanic Center deputy director and one of the report's authors. "What's more, Hispanics who don't have a usual health care provider are more likely to get health information from television than they are from medical professionals."

The report is based on a nationally representative bilingual survey of 4,013 Hispanic adults. It is unique in the breadth and depth at which it questions Hispanics on health care access and information issues. It also examines Hispanics' knowledge of diabetes - a serious chronic disease that is more prevalent among Hispanics than non-Hispanic whites.

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