AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Where only 12 percent of U.S.-born whites were uninsured, 22.5 percent of Mexican-Americans lacked health insurance. For recent immigrants, that number is much higher – more than 67 percent were uninsured. “This reveals gaps in worker based health insurance,” said Steven Wallace, one of the study’s authors and associate director of UCLA’s Center for Health Policy Research. “Latinos are more likely to work for smaller companies and industries including construction or service where hours offered don’t quality for health insurance.” This could become a problem during a public health crisis, researchers said. Without health insurance, sick persons put off visiting a doctor. If they contract a contagious illness such as avian influenza, it could put everyone at risk. The 34-page-study – which looked at immigration patterns and health care access nationally – also found that 37 percent of recent Mexican immigrants depend on clinics rather than doctors. In comparison, 15 percent of U.S.-born whites rely on clinics. While 10 percent of recent Mexican immigrants visited emergency rooms in 1999 and 2000, 20 percent of U.S.-born whites did. Researchers based their report on 2004 U.S. and Mexican census data and a 2000 study from the Centers of Disease Control. The study considers recent immigrants living in the U.S. 10 years or less. “Mexicans aren’t using as much health insurance as they could be because they are not friendly linguistically,” said Xochitl Castaneda, director of the California Mexico Health Initiative at the University of California. “Many of these clinics are also overwhelmed with people.” Rachel Uranga, (818) 713-3741 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Mexican immigrants rely heavily on health clinics but use emergency room services less often than most white Americans, a study released Thursday found. The joint study by the University of California and the National Population Council of Mexican Governments of Mexico bucks long-held perceptions that recent immigrants make more frequent emergency room visits. “Mexican immigrants when they come here, they don’t get here with the idea of using public services,” said Fabian Nuez, speaker of the California assembly and a son of Mexican immigrants himself. “They come here to contribute something.” Still, even after living in the United States for generations, Mexicans tend to have lower rates of health insurance coverage than U.S.-born whites.