Here’s a very useful resource if you need state-level statistics on health issues or topics, whether for research, program planning or grantwriting: statehealthfacts.org from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The site brings together data from a huge variety of topics, from health costs & budgets to public & private insurance to health status & provider utilization, and more. You can few the health profile of a particular state across these categories (here’s the profile for Texas), or you can compare figures across the 50 states, or even download raw data to perform your own analysis. Here’s a list of the newest and/or most recently updated reports on the site.
Like brisket? It’s good for you.
If you’re a fan of Texas barbecue, you may be doing yourself a healthy favor. A recent report from Texas A&M University revealed that brisket could be the healthiest cut of beef due to ‘depots’ or tiny reservoirs of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids that exist in the meat. See the full report at http://agnews.tamu.edu/showstory.php?id=458.
Limited Supplies of Rabies Vaccine
The Texas Department of State Health Services reports that the supply of the rabies vaccine continues to be limited. They report that “Rabies vaccine is currently available for PEP and pre-exposure (PreEP) vaccination use on a case-by-case basis only.” To help during the ongoing shortage, information has been posted for health care providers explaining the steps to obtain pre-exposure or post-exposure vaccines.
County-by-county rabies surveillance information is available online from the Texas Department of State Health Services.
In addition, the CDC has posted “Human Rabies Prevention — United States, 2008, Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices” online at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5703a1.htm which updates the 1999 recommendations.
Last week, the Census Bureau released new data from the 2006 American Community Survey, covering geographic areas with populations over 65,000. Although there are lots of potentially useful insights contained in these data, there was one measure I found striking because I hadn’t been aware of its use before: “linguistic isolation.” The Census Bureau defines “linguistically isolated” households as those where all household members age 14 or older have difficulty with the English language. For the five largest counties in our service area, here’s how the figures break down, where…
- Column  represents households that speak English at home (as % of total households)
- Column  represents households that speak Spanish at home (as % of total households)
- Column  represents all linguistically isolated households (as % of total households)
- Column  represents Spanish-speaking linguistically isolated households (as % of total households)
|County (Major City)|| English|| Spanish|| Ling Iso|| LI Spanish|
|Bexar (San Antonio)||48.45%||47.15%||8.63%||8.16%|
|Cameron (Brownsville, Harlingen)||25.67%||73.02%||19.45%||19.28%|
|Hidalgo (Edinburg, McAllen, Mission)||13.93%||84.89%||21.35%||21.31%|
|Nueces (Corpus Christi)||51.27%||46.32%||7.42%||7.10%|
Perhaps there’s nothing here we didn’t already know — but perhaps looking at it this way provides a new perspective and can help to explain why health information services offered in English and Spanish can reach so much further here than those offered only in English.
March is National Nutrition Month
We have a serious situation on our hands.
For the first time in the history of the world we are seeing great progress in the near complete eradication of hunger. While we have not solved the problem completely, it can be said that we are supplying food to at least most of the world. More of the poorer countries are learning agricultural techniques to insure a sustained food supply.
Why then, with such success, are we now facing a global epidemic of obesity? Perhaps nutrition cannot be defined merely as fuel for the body, but it must also include adequate work and exercise for the body. Nutritious foods can make us healthy, but food alone will not necessarily produce a total picture of health; we need also nutritious work and exercise to build good muscle, bone, blood and tissue.
Last year, a global study performed by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, (OECD), on the health of the world in general, found that more than half a billion people, or one in 10 adults worldwide, were obese and that obesity was spilling over from the wealthy into poorer nations. It’s become an epidemic.
So, what can be done?
Most healthcare professionals agree that the most obvious and imminent causes for over-weight and obesity problems are consumption of excess calories, unhealthy eating habits and insufficient physical activity among children and adults. Individuals in the medical sciences, are being called upon to be leaders in opening the eyes of our communities to see the inherent dangers that threaten us all.
Below is a collection of articles aimed at studying and addressing our complete nutritional problem. You may want to share some of these articles and videos with your clients, patients, students and caregivers. Together we can turn things around and help make lives better and healthier.
MRSA – the “superbug”
To follow up on Linda’s post from a few days ago…
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, has received some pretty intense news coverage over the past couple of days, both from local media like this article from the Houston Chronicle, as well as from the big wire services, like this AP article in Wired News. This article from today’s McAllen Monitor quotes a Driscoll Children’s Hospital doctor who indicates that the “number of cases [of MRSA] just exploded… We started seeing 300 to 400 hospitalizations a year, when before that we’d have maybe one.”
Much attention is focused on this paper which appeared in last week’s JAMA, and which JAMA is making available for free to all Internet viewers. Also, the NLM Director’s Podcast episode this week features comments on the MRSA superbug.
Nativity and Information Technology Use
(With thanks to Siobhan Champ-Blackwell’s BHIC) A report released earlier this week from the Pew Hispanic Center looks at differences in technology use among Hispanics who were born in the United States relative to those who were born in other countries. “While 85% of native-born Latinos ages 16 and older go online, only about half (51%) of foreign-born Latinso do so.”
Need Health Related Statistics?
Good statistics are often important for grants and other reporting. One good place to find reports or request statistics is the Texas Department of State Health Services Center for Health Statistics. The Center for Health Statistics calls itself the Portal for Comprehensive Health Data in Texas. Data may be used to support research, grant applications and policy development, and provide rapid needs response to health emergencies.
New ADHD Research
The National Alliance for Hispanic Health has “released findings from a national survey of Hispanic and non-Hispanic parents investigating potential barriers to diagnosis and treatment of ADHD, as well as parents’ awareness and perception of ADHD treatment.” The information can be found under the Alliance News section of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health site.
New Birth Rate Statistics Available