The health status of youth in Puerto Rico

Brent A. Langellier, Molly A. Martin, Glorisa Canino, Jeremiah R. Garza, Alexander N. Ortega

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background. Few population-based studies have assessed health outcomes and health care access and use among youth in the US Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Methods. Data are from an island population-based sample of 337 youth, 10 to 17 years old, who participated in the Asthma, Depression, and Anxiety in Puerto Rican Youth Study. In-person interviews with youth and caregivers assessed self-rated physical and mental health, weight status, diagnosed health conditions, and health care access and use. Results. Island Puerto Rican youth report slightly worse physical and mental health than mainland youth. Puerto Rican youth have high rates of asthma, headaches, and stomachaches. Also, 6 in 10 island youth use public health insurance, and 1 in 3 regularly receive care at the emergency department. Conclusions. Island Puerto Rican youth are at a health disadvantage compared with mainland youth. Public health research is needed to fully understand and combat health challenges among Puerto Rican youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)569-573
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Pediatrics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Hispanic Americans
  • Latino
  • Puerto Rico
  • adolescent health
  • child health
  • health care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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