A Status Report on the Health of People in El Paso County, Texas and Doña Ana County, New Mexico.
Improving the health of people in the Paso del Norte (PdN) region begins with an understanding of the population's health status and underlying causes of these conditions. This report presents selected health information on this community. The information is based on the 2005 Behavioral
Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a telephone-based survey of randomly-selected adults.
The survey gathered information about many health conditions and personal behaviors that affect health across the United States.1 A special emphasis was placed on gathering additional information from EI Paso and Doña Ana Counties, so that valid, precise results could be generated for these areas
HEALTH CARE INSURANCE
No Health Care Coverage Including Medicare or Medicaid
Having health care insurance is an important factor in an individual's ability to seek and receive timely and continuous health care. A variety of research studies have shown that people who lack medical insurance "receive less preventive care, are diagnosed at more advanced disease stages, and once diagnosed, tend to receive less therapeutic care."2 As a result, the overall mortality rate among the uninsured is 1 0-15% higher than for those who have health care insurance.2
. EI Paso
. Doña Ana
In the United States, Texas has the highest proportion of residents without health insurance (28.5%); New Mexico is third worst (21 9%).3 The situation in EI Paso County is even more severe with almost 40% of adults lacking any health insurance. Similarly, Doña Ana has a higher proportion of uninsured than New Mexico as a whole, with almost 30% lacking health insurance. The high rate of uninsured in this region reflects the high rates among Hispanics; over 45% of Hispanics are uninsured as compared to less than 15% of non- Hispanics.
No Health Care Coverage by Ethnicity
.Hispanics . Non-Hispanics
Since individuals without health care coverage are less likely to see a health care practitioner, residents in the region are less likely to be diagnosed for certain conditions. As a result, the number of people estimated in this report having a given condition may be less than the actual number.