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County Black, Latino residents have far poorer health outcomes


Los Angeles County Health Survey

Black and Latino residents of Los Angeles County experience poorer health outcomes compared to other racial and ethnic groups due to disparities in access to care, availability of healthy foods, housing and economic security, according to the Los Angeles County Health Survey.

The L.A. County Department of Public Health's first post-pandemic health study collected information from 9,372 adults and 7,391 children.

“The 2023 LA County Health Survey findings confront us with the stark realities of how historical inequities continue to shape the health and well-being of our communities, especially among our Black and Latinx residents,'' DPH Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement. “These disparities are the result of deeply ingrained systemic injustices and policies that have, for too long, marginalized communities, affecting access to care and resources needed for good health.''

According to the survey, Black adults in L.A. County were found to experience higher instances of hypertension, asthma, obesity, diabetes and nutrition insecurity than many other groups. Also, the study noted the negative effects of increasing housing costs and instances of discrimination last year on Black residents.

Yet, while the 2023 LACHS survey showed Black adults in L.A. County face many challenges, it also revealed they reported receiving needed social and emotional support at higher rates than other racial and ethnic groups, with two-thirds of Black adults reporting “always or usually'' receiving the support they need.

Similarly, Latino county residents were found to experience disproportionate inequities in cases of diabetes and COVID-19, with poor access to health care and health insurance, along with food insecurity and housing costs adding to the group's problems, according to the study.

Disparities were also observed among Latinx adults in regard to certain health behaviors, including the widespread use of soda or sugar-sweetened beverages and increased binge drinking of alcohol, the survey found.

In terms of emotional sustenance, the study showed that Latino adults had among the lowest rates of receiving needed social support.

LACHS researchers found that Asians, as a broad demographic group, have better health outcomes for certain chronic conditions, such as asthma, obesity, or diabetes, and experience higher socioeconomic status relative to most other racial and ethnic groups in the county.

However, high cholesterol, difficulty obtaining needed medical care and disparities in certain mental health and emotional issues, including suicidal thoughts and loneliness, were among key challenges for Asians, according to the survey.

The health study also determined that children of age 17 and below constitute the largest group of individuals living in poverty in L.A. County.