Skip to content Skip to navigation

Health consequences of long-term injection heroin use among aging Mexican American men

TitleHealth consequences of long-term injection heroin use among aging Mexican American men
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsTorres, LR, Kaplan, C, Valdez, A
JournalJ Aging HealthJ Aging Health
Volume23
Pagination912-32
Date PublishedSep
ISBN Number1552-6887 (Electronic)<br/>0898-2643 (Linking)
Accession Number21451118
KeywordsAged, Aged, 80 and Over, Aging/ ethnology, Cohort Studies, Cross-Sectional Studies, Health Status Disparities, Heroin Dependence/complications/ ethnology, HIV Infections/ethnology/etiology, Humans, Male, Mexican Americans/ psychology/statistics & numerical data, Middle Aged, Substance Abuse, Intravenous/complications/ ethnology, Time Factors, United States/epidemiology
AbstractOBJECTIVES: Research on the health consequences of long-term injection drug use (IDU) is limited. This article examines these consequences among aging, male Mexican American injecting heroin users. Concern for this group is crucial, given its health disparities and the association of IDU with disease transmission. METHOD: Aging, male Mexican American IDUs (N = 227) were recruited through intensive outreach. Participants self-reported health status, medical and substance use history, and completed behavioral and psychometric health scales. RESULTS: Results: Participants had significantly poorer self-rated health and negative health conditions. Selected medical conditions not associated with the heroin-use lifestyle (i.e., hypertension, diabetes, arthritis) were lower relative to the comparison samples. DISCUSSION: This population has a complex profile of health consequences linked to a heroin-using lifestyle. The study concludes that routine screening of infectious diseases and medical and behavioral conditions among aging substance using populations may contribute to reducing Hispanic health disparities.