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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


DELVA, Jorge; FURR, Carolyn D. M.  and  ANTHONY, James C.. Personal characteristics associated with injecting drug use among Latinas in the United States of America. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 1998, vol.4, n.5, pp.-. ISSN 1680-5348.

This study examines nonmedical injecting drug use (IDU) among Latinas aged 12 years and older in a nationally representative sample of U.S. households. Data from the 1990-1995 National Household Surveys on Drug Abuse disclosed 154 Latinas with self-reported histories of IDU out of 18 335 Latinas who responded. Hypotheses about correlates of IDU were tested by using the conditional form of multiple logistic regression to compare the characteristics of these IDUs with those of 602 noninjecting Latinas matched on neighborhood of residence. In the USA, an estimated 1% of Latinas age 12 years and older have injected drugs for non-medical purposes on at least one occasion. IDU was 4.6 to 6.5 times greater for adult Latinas (18-44 years old) when compared to Latinas aged either 12 through 17 years (P < 0.05) or older than 44 years. IDU was an estimated 7.1 times greater for Latinas who reported marijuana use and 5.4 times greater for Latinas who reported inhalant use when compared to Latinas not using these drugs (P < 0.01). In light of recent studies indicating that IDU is a serious public health problem for Latinas in the United States, the observed associations represent first steps in an effort to understand the Latina subgroups most affected by IDU and the underlying risk factors or causes of this behavior.

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