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Silvia Bigatti


Mexican Americans experience higher morbidity and mortality than non-Hispanic whites, a problem known as health disparities, which is often explained by differences in social determinants of health (SDH). SDH are social and economic conditions that influence health-related behaviors. The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine the relationship between SDH (income, education, neighborhood safety, and health care access), and health behaviors (diet, sleep, and physical activity) of Hispanics. The cumulative inequality (CI) theory was used to inform this study. A secondary data analysis of 37078 Hispanic adults who completed the 2017 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey was conducted. Regression analysis (binomial logistic regression, and multiple linear regression) showed that SDH (income, education, neighborhood safety, and health care access) were statistically significant predictors of health behaviors among the sample. Specifically, income, education and neighborhood safety predicted diet, income and education predicted physical activity, and education predicted sleep. The overall findings point to the importance of considering the adverse impact SDH can have on Hispanics' health behaviors. This study can contribute to social change by helping Hispanics and their health care providers understand how specific SDH influence their health behaviors, which in turn can help practitioners develop new treatment approaches and policies that either reduce SDH or promote positive health behaviors in spite of their challenges.

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