Last night Greysi Reyna, Assistant Director for the Ramirez Library in Harlingen, was honored at an event celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the Area Health Education Center (AHEC) program at the UT Health Science Center. Armando Lopez, Director of the Lower Rio Grande Valley AHEC, presented the plaque with Dr. Adela Gonzalez, Executive Director for the Center for South Texas Programs, officiating. Greysi has a 15-year affiliation with the AHEC program, beginning in 1995 with her appointment as circuit librarian for the Lower Rio Grande Valley.
Staying Well. Connected.
Greysi Reyna Honored at AHEC Celebration
Healthy People 2020
The US Department of Health and Human Services has launched Healthy People 2020, a document representing the federal government’s public health agenda for the coming decade. A “What’s New for 2020” page summarizes major developments relative to Healthy People 2010. Among them is a focus on addressing health disparities from a perspective that includes social determinants of health.
New Report Highlights Border Diabetes Issues
The Pan American Journal of Public Health recently published a special edition reporting on issues of diabetes along the U.S. Mexico Border. This special issue reports the results of the U.S.-Mexico Border Diabetes Prevention and Control Project, a binational research effort coordinated by the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) in collaboration with the CDC, the ministry of health of Mexico, the Paso del Norte Health Foundation, and the California Endowment.
Findings based on data collected between 2001 and 2002 in 16 U.S. counties and 28 Mexican municipalities show that 70% of persons with diabetes on the border are overweight or obese, and only 30% participate in regular physical activity. The studies also found that people of Mexican descent on both sides of the border are more likely to have diabetes but to be unaware of it, putting them at additional risk for diabetes complications as well as heart disease and stroke. Other key findings include the following facts: diabetes is inversely related to education and socioeconomic levels; nearly 48% of people with diabetes also have high blood pressure, but only 1 in 4 is receiving treatment; more than 60% of people diagnosed with diabetes have at least one other family member with the disease; and obesity appears to be a key factor in the high rate of diabetes in the border area.
The border diabetes project is considered the first research effort to view the border as a single epidemiological unit, with researchers noting that counties and municipalities on both sides of the border have more in common with one another than they do with their respective countries.
Additional information about the project is available at http://www.paho.org/fep/diabetes.
Healthy Habits and Family Ties Lead to Longer Lives for Hispanics
There has been much interest in the recent CDC report that concludes Hispanic life expectancy is longer and that Hispanics have lower rates of disease, including cancer, stroke and heart disease. According to Kyriakos Markides, a professor of aging at the UT Medical Branch at Galveston, “There is now doubt immigrants are driving this”. With nearly 40 percent of U.S. Latinos born outside the United States, those who have emigrated to the United States tend to eat more wholesome foods, live in tight-knit communities, as well as have jobs that demand more physical activity, which in turn all contributes to better overall health and longer lives.
Exercise plus resistance training = increased fitness for people with diabetes
A new article in the current issue of JAMA reports on a randomized controlled trial that compared the effects of different types of exercise on people with type 2 diabetes. The objective of the study was to examine the benefits of aerobic training alone, resistance training alone, and a combination of both on hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c). The study group of 262 sedentary men and women was enrolled in a 9-month exercise program with random assignment to one of four groups. Forty-one participants were assigned to the non-exercise control group, 73 to resistance weight-training 3 days a week, 72 to aerobic exercise in which they walked on a treadmill for the equivalent to a brisk, 4 mph walk for 50 minutes 3 times per week, and 76 to combined aerobic and resistance training in which they walked on the treadmill 3 times per week and did two weight lifting sessions each week. The workouts were designed so that each would take about the same amount of time at 140-150 minutes per week.
Results indicated that participants in all exercise groups reduced their waist circumference and lost weight compared with the control group. Only the combination group improved maximum oxygen consumption. Although HbA1c didn’t change significantly for people who did aerobic training only or resistance training only, it fell by 0.34 percent in the combination exercise group, which would translate to a decreased risk of heart disease and microvascular complications.
Dr. Timothy Church, the study’s author, noted that their findings support the 2008 federal physical activity guidelines, which recommend that people get at least 150 minutes of walking or 75 minutes of running a week, along with two or more days a week of resistance training.
1) Effects of Aerobic and Resistance Training on Hemoglobin A1c Levels in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes
Timothy S. Church, MD, MPH, PhD; Steven N. Blair, PED; Shannon Cocreham, BS; Neil Johannsen, PhD; William Johnson, PhD; Kimberly Kramer, MPH; Catherine R. Mikus, MS; Valerie Myers, PhD; Melissa Nauta, BS; Ruben Q. Rodarte, MS, MBA; Lauren Sparks, PhD; Angela Thompson, MSPH; Conrad P. Earnest, PhD
JAMA. 2010;304(20):2253-2262. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1710
2) Weights plus walking equals more fit in less time.
http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/11/23/weights.plus.walking/index.html?hpt=Sbin. Accessed 11/24/10.
Texas State at San Marcos Celebrates
The Alkek library at Texas State in San Marcos hosted a government information fair on Wednesday, November 17th in celebration of their 55th year as a federal depository library. The designation was awarded in 1955 at the request of then U.S. Senate Majority Leader Lyndon B. Johnson on behalf of his alma mater. The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) includes over 1,200 libraries across the country that provide access to government publications. Uncle Sam is seen here visiting the UT Health Science Center booth displaying information from the National Library of Medicine. Both state and federal agencies were on hand to answer questions and hand out information to the campus community and members of the public.
Mental Health Services for Migrant Farmworkers
Last week the 20th annual Midwest Stream Farmworker Health Forum was held in Austin, with several speakers highlighting the need for improved access to mental health services. “Immigration is a mental health issue because it puts so much stress on parents and families,” according to Roger Rosenthal, director of the Migrant Legal Action Program (as reported in BataviaNews.com). A search of PubMed found an article in the American Journal of Public Health published in 2000, but otherwise there appears to be limited evidence of research in this area.
PubMed for Alexander High School in Laredo
On Monday, November 15, 32 high school students from Alexander High School came to the Laredo Regional Campus Library for a PubMed class. Each student has already developed a research question and is required to do a literature review on their topic. The students spent about an hour learning to use PubMed and then spent additional time utilizing the print and online resources available to them in the library.
Play Brings Pesticide Risk Awareness to Farmworkers
EPA Region 6 has published an interactive humorous play designed to increase safety awareness for individuals who work in areas that are treated with pesticides. The play, called “El Moscas” y los Pesticidas was written by a former migrant worker, Mr. Nephtalí De León, with input from federal, state and health agencies that have a shared interest in providing and communicating information about pesticide awareness.
The play was performed on Saturday, October 23, 2010 by migrant and seasonal farmworker students from the Children in the Fields Campaign’s Pan American Texas Youth Council before an audience of over 700 community members at the Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle, in San Juan, TX.
To view the script, and to get more information about “El Moscas” y los Pesticidas, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/region6/water/beyondtranslation/2009/elmoscas.html
Health disparities for minority children with frequent ear infections
A recent study that appears in the the November issue of the journal Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery indicates that Hispanic and Black children who experience frequent ear infections are less likely to have access to health care than White children. Living below the poverty level, lack of insurance, and lack of access to specialty care are all related factors that create a health disparity for families who cannot afford timely clinical care or prescriptions and who may have to rely on the hospital emergency department. Article co-author Dr. Nina Shapiro from UCLA stated, “Clearly, we found that children of certain ethnicities who suffer from frequent ear infections are more likely to face greater barriers to care. This information provides an opportunity for improvements in our current healthcare reform.”