Survey Shows Fewer Hispanic Seniors Getting Flu
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Hispanic seniors in the
United States are less likely than their white counterparts to be
vaccinated against flu and pneumonia, a new study has found.
Researchers from the nonprofit RAND Corp. analyzed data from
more than 244,000 seniors who took part in a 2008 Medicare survey
and found that lifetime immunization rates for pneumonia were 74
percent for whites, 56 percent for English-speaking Hispanics and
40 percent for Spanish-speaking Hispanics.
Vaccination rates for seasonal flu were 76 percent for whites,
68 percent for English-speaking Hispanics and 64 percent for
Spanish-speaking Hispanics, the study reported.
"All Hispanic seniors are less likely to become immunized, and we found the problem seems to be the worst in new immigrant communities where Spanish is the predominant language," lead author and statistician Amelia M. Haviland said in a RAND news release. "These findings suggest new strategies may be needed to target an important problem."
She and her colleagues found that communities where there was a
long-standing Hispanic population had significantly smaller
disparities in flu vaccination rates. In addition, Hispanic seniors
enrolled in Medicare Advantage Plans had higher pneumonia
immunization rates than those in traditional fee-for-service
Medicare plans, regardless of language preference.
The study was published in the Jan. 24 issue of the
Archives of Internal Medicine.
The U.S. National Institute on Aging has more about
vaccinations for seniors.
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