This Wednesday, October 15 is National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD). Visit NLAAD’s website for more information and ideas for local events. The NLAAD site also includes a link to CDC’s online directory of HIV testing facilities.
The Spanish language uses a unique expression of respect and appreciation to refer to seniors — it refers to them as being of “la Tercera Edad” (“the Third Age”), i.e. what follows childhood and middle-age.
Here’s something new para los de la Tercera Edad: the US National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health, now offers accurate, up-to-date information on health issues affecting Hispanic seniors, online and in Spanish. The new Spanish-language content, located at http://www.nia.nih.gov/Espanol/, is designed to be user-friendly and wide-ranging, including tips on choosing a doctor and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, as well as information on diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancer and diabetes.
A recent Science Update from the National Institute of Mental Health highlights a new study that appears in the Dec 2007 issue of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. The study suggests that interventions focused on strengthening the family system, including interventions with parents to encourage involvement and improved communication, may be more effective in reducing Hispanic teen risk behaviors than interventions that target those behaviors specifically. University of Miami researchers randomly assigned Hispanic eighth-graders and their primary caregivers to one of three combined interventions for a period of one year:
“Familias Unidas plus PATH was designed to promote positive adolescent development by increasing parental involvement and teaching more effective parental communication techniques. The program was designed to be more consistent with Hispanic cultural expectations, in which life is family-centered and vital to an individual’s emotional support. PATH is designed to specifically increase parent-adolescent communication about sexual behavior and HIV risks, but it does not target family dynamics specifically. HeartPower for Hispanics is designed to encourage healthier behaviors among Hispanic youth to reduce obesity and heart disease risks.”
Assessments at midway through the intervention year, at the end of the intervention year, and one and two years afterwards showed that the Familias Unidas + PATH intervention was:
The researchers caution that Mexican-Americans, which represent the majority of Hispanic residents of the US, were not well-represented in their study, so they encourage further study of the effectiveness of family-centered interventions among Mexican-Americans before generalizing the results to the wider US Hispanic population — certainly an opportunity for researchers here in South Texas.
Prado G, Pantin H, Briones E, Schwartz SJ, Feaster D, Huang S, Sullivan S, Tapia MI, Sabillon E, Lopez B, Szapocznik J. A randomized controlled trial of a parent-centered intervention in prevention substance use and HIV risk behavior in Hispanic adolescents. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2007 Dec; 75(6): 914-926. doi: 10.1037/0022-006X.75.6.914 PubMed link
According to a recent study published online in Neurology, older Hispanic adults who have even small clogs in their neck arteries are at a higher risk for having a “vascular event” than whites or blacks, with either the same plaque buildup or no plaque buildup at all. Even though the Hispanic participants were less likely to have the buildup, when they did have it, it was more problematic. In fact, the Hispanic adults with moderate plaque buildup were four times more likely to suffer a heart attack, stroke, or die of cardiovascular disease over the next seven years.
“This study cannot explain why carotid plaques carried the highest risks for Hispanics. More studies are needed to address this question.”, said Dr. Tatjana Rundek, lead investigator from the the University of Miami.
The study contained almost 2,200 people, with more than half the participants being Hispanic.
In June, NLM released a public campaign to try to encourage Spanish-speaking Web users in the US and worldwide to use medlineplus.gov/salud. The campaign’s tagline is “Póngase al día con su salud en MedlinePlus” (“Get up to date on your health with MedlinePlus”) and it features a superstar who is instantly recognizable across Latin America: Chilean TV host Mario Kreutzberger, better known as Don Francisco. Don Francisco is the Emmy-award-winning host of the longest-running TV show in the Americas: Sábado Gigante, which he created in Chile in 1962 and which has continued weekly for many years across the US on the Univisión network and throughout Latin America on Galavisión. His campaign for NLM and MedlinePlus includes videos, posters, bookmarks, and calling cards — all available for free download and distribution from MedlinePlus. You can view the videos and learn more about the campaign in English or in Spanish, and download the (bilingual) campaign materials here.
[From a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Press Release]
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced an initiative to promote utilization of promotores de salud as a means of strengthening outreach and education on the availability of health services and insurance coverage to underserved Hispanic/Latino communities.
The HHS initiative aims to develop a national program to recognize the work of promotores, develop a database of promotores networks, which will include information on their training and where they work, and to foster cooperation among various networks. The project also aims to develop an English-Spanish web site with information and resources to assist community workers and their networks.
For more information and to view the full press release, visit: http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/promotores.
The Texas State Library will be offering a series of free workshops to help English-speaking libraries and community centers reach out to Spanish speakers. The day-long workshops will be held around the state over the next few months. South Texas locations include Harlingen, San Antonio, Bandera, Laredo, Beeville, and Carrizo Springs. Topics will include cultural differences, community partnerships, marketing, and technology. The workshops are intended for librarians and their community partners. A brochure and more information are available at http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/ld/workshops/rosa/.
Research conducted through the Los Angeles Latino Eye Study (LALES) and reported by the NIH has found that Latinos have higher rates of developing visual impairment, blindness, diabetic eye disease, and cataracts than non-Hispanic whites. Research participants were primarily of Mexican descent over 40 years old. During the four year study period, researchers found the following:
Read the complete NIH News (May 1, 2010) at http://www.nih.gov/news/health/may2010/nei-01.htm.
From the August 2007 issue of the Archives of Dermatology:
Sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Synthesis Project has released a report on Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Access to and Quality of Health Care. Among the key findings: “The largest access disparities are for Spanish-speaking Hispanics.” (Thanks to Siobhan Champ-Blackwell.)