An Iowa Department of Public Health report concludes there are "pockets" of minority children in Iowa who do not have regular access to a dentist and do not get regular medical checkups.
Jane Borst, head of the agency’s family health bureau, says children with parents who mainly speak Spanish are the least likely to be covered by insurance.
"There are some differences between the health status of children in families of Spanish-speaking Iowans and the general population of children in Iowa," she says.
However, the children of Spanish-speaking parents are less likely to be overweight.
"We found that children in Spanish-speaking homes tended to be more active," Borst says. "(They) engage in more physical activity and (spend) less time watching television, playing video games."
In addition, the Iowa Child and Family Household Survey found African-American children were far more likely to suffer from asthma.
"There is some research, separate from this, to suggest that African-American children may have asthma at a higher rate. At the same time, we don’t know what the causes might be, but certainly that’s a next step," Borst says. "One of the purposes of this study was to help us identify what variables we need to be looking at that affect the health of children."
The next Iowa Child and Family Household Survey will be conducted in 2010. The report released yesterday comes from the 2005 survey and it’s the final set of data from it.
The 2005 survey is posted online. http://ppc.uiowa.edu/health/ICHHS/iowachild2005/ichhs2005.htm