Upcoming PBS Documentaries: Health Disparities and Cancer
Upcoming Women’s Health Conference in Laredo
Texas A&M International University and KLRN have joined together to bring the Women’s Health Conference to the TAMIU Student Center in Laredo, on Saturday, Jan. 19.
The purpose of the conference is to help women make informed choices about their health through the exchange of information in the form of speakers, breakout sessions, and health screenings.
UTHealth Researchers Find Diabetics at Higher Risk of Tuberculosis Infection
Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston have announced that people in US-Mexico border communities who are living with diabetes have a three to five times higher risk of contracting tuberculosis. The results of the study, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health, were published in the May issue of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization and reported on the UT Health website.
Tuberculosis is an ongoing problem for communities on both sides of the border, such as Laredo and Nuevo Laredo. The two Laredos current have 120 cases of TB, but joint efforts by the two cities’ public health organizations have helped to keep the spread of the disease under control according to a recent article in the Laredo Sun.
The most common signs and symptoms of TB, which is spread through the air, are a cough with phlegm for more than 15 days, sometimes bloody, fever, night sweats, momentary dizziness, chills and weight loss.
UTHSC pilot project funded to investigate methods for diabetes education
Dr. Adelita Cantu from the UT Health Science Center (UTHSC) School of Nursing and colleagues from UTSA, the Texas Diabetes Institute, and UTHSC recently received funding from the Institute for Integration of Medicine and Science for a one-year pilot project on diabetes education. This project forms an “innovative academic-community partnership” to investigate and better understand “how Mexican Americans with diabetes or at risk of diabetes use health information to make daily decisions about their self care management.” Investigators hope to determine whether participation in Salsa Caliente, a specially tailored curriculum, and enhanced education about accessing health information on the Internet will make a difference in diabetes awareness, management, and knowledge vs participation in Salsa Caliente alone. Half of the participants in this project will receive a laptop computer to use at home and will be trained to use MedlinePlus and other reliable Internet sites. The other half of the participants will receive general education and will not have immediate access to a computer. The project will end on April 30, 2011.
VII Semana Binacional de Salud
The Seventh Binational Health Week will take place October 13-21, 2007 in 31 states in the U.S. and 3 provinces in Canada, with the participation of the 46 Mexican consulates, 11 Guatemalan consulates, 12 Salvadoran consulates, 9 Colombian consulates and the Mexican states with high rates of migration. Major events will include the inaugural event and Binational Policy Forum on Migration and Health to be held in Los Angeles on 14-16 October, a workshop for promotores de salud in El Paso on 11 October, and the closing event in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas on 19 October. Other events including health fairs, screenings, vaccination, and preventative health promotion will take place in over 200 cities across North America through the Mexican consular network and cooperating partner institutions.
La VIIa Semana Binacional de Salud se llevará a cabo del 13 al 21 de octubre del 2007 en 31 estados de los EE UU y 3 provincias de Canadá, con la participación de los 46 consulados de México, 11 consulados de Guatemala, 12 consulados de El Salvador, 9 consulados colombianos y los estados mexicanos con tasas altas de migración. Eventos importantes incluyen la apertura y Foro Binacional de Políticas Públicas en Salud y Migración, que se presentará en Los Angeles del 14 al 16 de octubre, un taller para promotoras/promotores de salud en El Paso el 11 de octubre, y la clausura en Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas el 19 de octubre. Otros eventos tales como ferias de salud, vacunación y promoción de salud preventiva ocurrirán en más de 200 ciudades norteamericanas a través de la red consular mexicana y otras instituciones. Cobertura de Notimex aquí.
Webcast: Legislative Efforts to Address Health Disparities
On Friday, December 14, at 8am CT the Kaiser Family Foundation will broadcast a webcast covering legislative efforts related to health disparities. The UT Health Science Center Libraries will host a viewing of the webcast at the Briscoe Library in San Antonio, room 2C. Former Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher will be among the speakers. Join us – coffee will be served.
Why you should consider organ or tissue donation
Each day, about 74 people receive an organ transplant — but 17 people die because of a critical shortage of organ donors. A single donor can save or enhance the lives of more than 50 others. Yet, especially in minority communities, donations do not keep pace with need. The Office of Minority Health states: “Successful transplantation is often enhanced by matching of organs between members of the same racial and ethnic group. Generally, people are genetically more similar to people of their own ethnicity or race than to people of other races. Therefore, matches are more likely and more timely when donors and potential recipients are members of the same ethnic background.” (http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/templates/content.aspx?ID=3123) While most organ donations occur at the time of death, kidneys, blood, platelets, and some other tissues can be donated by a living donor. Most major religions, including Catholicism, Protestantism, Islam, and most branches Judaism consider organ donation to be consistent with their beliefs and tenets.
In addition to the Office of Minority Health, there are many other online resources that can answer questions — and debunk myths — about organ and tissue donations including MedlinePlus (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/organdonation.html), the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center (http://www.southtexasblood.org/), Donate Life Texas (https://www.donatelifetexas.org/TXDear_Secure/default.aspx), and OrganDonor.gov (http://organdonor.gov/).
You have the power to donate life by signing up today to become an organ, tissue and eye donor.
Women, Mexican Americans at Higher Risk for Certain Stroke
On June 11, HealthDay reported on a study published in the most recent issue of Neurology which indicated that Mexican Americans and women may have an increased risk of experiencing a stroke in which there is bleeding in the space around the brain. The Health Day news item states:
“Researchers, reviewing the medical records of almost 30,000 people over age 44 in southeast Texas, found that Mexican Americans ran nearly twice the risk of a subarachnoid hemorrhage than white people. Women, they found, had a one-and-three-quarters-fold increased risk of having this type of stroke.
Only 107 of the 29,907 people in the study experienced a subarachnoid hemorrhage during the seven-year study period.
A subarachnoid hemorrhage often results from a cerebral aneurysm, a blistering of a blood vessel. Even if caught early, it could kill a person or lead to severe disability. The condition may cause a person to have a severe or “thunderclap” headache. Vomiting, seizures and neck stiffness may accompany the headache.
‘Physicians and public health officials should help Mexican Americans and women take steps which might prevent subarachnoid hemorrhage,’ study author Dr. Lewis B. Morgenstern, director of the University of Michigan Stroke Program in Ann Arbor, said in a prepared statement. ‘Given that Mexican Americans account for the largest and fastest-growing minority group in the United States, it is important to examine how this condition may affect certain ethnicities differently.’
Tobacco use and hypertension treatment differences among ethnic groups may have played a role in the study’s outcome, he said, noting that since the study took place in one geographic area, its results may not hold for other locations.
Your Diabetes Is My Diabetes
Don’t miss this great story (also available in Spanish) from the DHHS Office of Minority Health about Manuel Hernández and the social networks he created for Latinos with diabetes — tudiabetes.com (in English) and estudiabetes.com (in Spanish). Both of those sites were created using a free online tool called Ning that provides a platform, infrastructure and hosting for user-created social networks. The story of tudiabetes.com (only eight months old and a vibrant community of over 1400 members) and estudiabetes.com (six months old, 178 members) shows the power of using Web 2.0 tools like Ning to create new kinds of online communities connecting people with common interests — like those who have been affected by a particular health condition — in all corners of the globe.