From the press release: “The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announced the launch of a new community education program, which broadens the Institute’s national stroke education campaign Know Stroke. Know the Signs. Act in Time. to promote stroke awareness among Hispanics in the United States. The program’s key component is a toolkit, Ataque cerebral: conozca los síntomas y actúe a tiempo, that can be used by promotores de salud (lay health educators) in charlas (health talks) to educate their communities about the signs of stroke and the importance of calling 911 promptly to receive appropriate medical treatment.”
NINDS Announces Effort to Promote Stroke Awareness in the Hispanic Community
November is National Diabetes Month
Diabetes can strike in all age groups and socioeconomic levels. However, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), Mexican Americans are more than twice as likely to have diabetes as non-Hispanic whites of a similar age. And diabetics utilize healthcare resources at a rate of three times higher than patients in the non-diabetic population.
Diabetes was the sixth leading cause of death in Texas, and nationally, from 2002 through 2004. In 2004, 5,426 deaths were directly attributed to diabetes. The disease is believed to be under-reported on death certificates in Texas and the nation, both as a condition, and as a cause of death.
According to the Texas Diabetes Council (TDC), 30 people per 100,000 who have diabetes are likely to die from it. The mortality rates for blacks and Hispanics are more than double that of whites. Type 1 diabetes affects one in every 400 to 600 Texas children and adolescents. Type 2 diabetes, in persons less than 18 years old, has been increasing in recent years, TDC addresses issues affecting people with diabetes in Texas and advises the Texas Legislature about the statewide system of education services for all people with diabetes and the health care professionals who care for them.
More than 14 percent of Valley residents have diabetes – more than twice the national average. Many area deaths from heart disease, kidney failure, and other organ shutdowns occurred because diabetes opened the door.
Upcoming diabetes educational events in South Texas:
11/2/07 & 11/3/07
2007 Southwest Diabetes Symposium
Texas Diabetes Institute in San Antonio
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
The Rio Grande Valley Diabetes Association (RGVDA) and the McAllen Hispanic Chamber of Commerce have gathered several experts on diabetes to make a presentation to the public on the dreaded disease. Healthy refreshments and educational information will be available.
McAllen Heart Hospital Conference Room located at 1900 S. “D” Street
For more information on the workshop and/or to register call the MHCC at (956) 928-0060.
October 15 – National Latino AIDS Awareness Day
Para los de la Tercera Edad
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.
Parent/family-centered interventions and Hispanic youth risk behavior
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 Parent-Preadolescent Training for HIV Prevention (PATH)
- English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) plus PATH
- ESOL plus HeartPower for Hispanics, an American Heart Association program
“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:
- more effective than either of the other two in reducing cigarette use,
- more effective than ESOL + HeartPower in reducing illicit drug use, and
- more effective than ESOL + PATH in reducing unsafe sexual behavior.
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
PBS Affiliates KLRN and KBMH Broadcast Series on Health Disparities
Next Thursday, March 27, PBS affiliates KLRN and KBMH will begin broadcasting a four-hour series on health disparities entitled Unnatural Causes. Among the questions to be considered: “Why do recent Latino immigrants, who are poorer, enjoy better health than native-born Americans when they arrive, yet suffer a rapid decline the longer they are here?”
Plaque Buildup More Dangerous in Older Hispanics
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.
Póngase al día con su salud en MedlinePlus
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.
Promotores de Salud Initiative Announced by HHS Office of Minority Health
[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.
Proposed Bill to Help With Health Professional Shortage
With an expected shortfall of more than 4,500 healthcare professionals to provide services for the medically underserved residents of Texas in 2015, a bill is being introduced to get healthcare workers (primary care physicians, dentists, and other professionals) to serve in areas where they are needed the most.
State Rep. Warren Chisum is proposing a bill that will create the Texas Health Care Access Fund, which will offer up to $160,000 to pay medical school debt in exchange for four years of work in underserved areas. “The bill is critical to the future of health care in Texas. By helping to pay off medical school loans, we hope to encourage more graduates in more rural and inner-city areas.” says Chisum.