Personal characteristics associated with injecting drug use among Latinas in the United States of America

Jorge Delva, Carolyn D.M. Furr, James C. Anthony

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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 nonmedical 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-345
Number of pages5
JournalRevista Panamericana de Salud Publica/Pan American Journal of Public Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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