The California border region, defined as the area within 62 miles (100 km) on the north side of the U.S.- Mexico border, is a unique region in the State of California. There are geographical, demographical and health-related differences between this area and other regions of California. The goal of this report is to highlight those differences with a specific focus on health. This report summarizes demographic information and health indicators including obesity, diabetes, mental health, tuberculosis (TB), sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV and vaccine-preventable diseases in the California border region. This report describes the burden of each of these diseases in the southern border region counties (San Diego and Imperial). To understand the health disparities that exist among the border region counties, it is important to include California as a reference point. Sources including Healthy Border 2020 and Healthy People 2020 were reviewed for guidance as to the most important health indicators in the California border region. The Healthy Border 2020 is a binational initiative that works in collaboration with Mexico to address priority binational health concerns along this border region. The Healthy People 2020 is a 10-year U.S. national initiative that works to improve the health of Americans. The 2017-2018 Border Health Status Report to the Legislature health indicators were selected on the basis of results from border health key-informant interviews and results obtained from a survey conducted among border health stakeholders.
The population data used in this report were obtained from the State of California, Department of Finance (DOF). Race, education, unemployment, obesity and diabetes data were obtained from the 2016-2017 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS). CHIS is the nation’s largest state health survey and a very important source of data for various health indicators at the ethnic and racial level. CHIS is conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles, Center for Health Policy Research in collaboration with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). CHIS research scientists consider some data unreliable. As recommended by CHIS research scientists, unreliable data were not used in this report. Communicable disease data were obtained directly from the CDPH, Office of AIDS, TB Control Branch, Sexually Transmitted Disease Branch and Vaccine- Preventable Disease Epidemiology Section. When available, we will present the number of cases and the rate (i.e., the number of cases divided by the population). For the CHIS data, we will provide the percent of cases, because the data obtained represent a randomly selected subgroup of the population, and total numbers are not provided.
Throughout this report, we compare data primarily from Latino and White populations and include other races when their rates or proportions were higher than the two main groups we are referencing for this report. Latino will be used for race/ethnicity instead of Latino/Hispanic.