There is a prevailing assumption that the further you climb up the socioeconomic ladder, your health outcomes also improve. However, there is an interesting phenomenon called the Hispanic epidemiological paradox, which challenges this notion. Individuals with Hispanic backgrounds have “lower mortality rates in seven out of 10 leading causes of death in the United States” particularly among the middle-aged and elderly population. Nonetheless, as we delve into this paradox, it becomes evident that the matter is nuanced, with some studies contesting its validity, including when it comes to the development of heart disease.
Despite the controversy, there are many theories around why the paradox is still being debated. One that stands out is that Hispanic values are centered around their deep-rooted ties to their community and family. Aidelin Cutino, a dedicated therapy case manager at onehome, who proudly embraces her Cuban heritage, reinforces that there is an obligation to take care of their family members unconditionally, irrespective of their mental or physical state. Social relationships seen in Hispanic cultures not only boost overall well-being but also help to reduce stress levels.
Another facet to consider among Hispanics and Latinos, particularly those who have immigrated to the United States, is their strong connection to a healthy whole foods-based diet. This influence holds potential to positively impact first-generation Hispanics, who, unfortunately, tend to adopt less “less healthy dietary patterns” the longer they have lived in the United States. In that vein, onehome DME branch manager, Neftali Perez, shares an anecdote about his elderly Honduran mother who harvests food to eat from her vegetable garden. She gently scolded him not to discard the skins of a pineapple, which hold valuable anti-inflammatory benefits. To his surprise, she proceeded to boil the skins to make a nourishing hot tea.
At onehome, our roots are centered in the vibrant heart of Miami. We take pride in celebrating Hispanic and Latino cultures that enrich our community. We commend their approach to sustainable health, deeply influenced by cultural norms. As we continue our journey toward delivering value-based post-acute care, we remain committed to supporting these healthy values embedded within these diverse cultures.