How to Successfully Screen Latino Toddlers for Autism

latino boy thinking; mental health care

A few years ago, only 1 in 10 Latino children were screened for autism when they came in for well-child visits at Unity Health Care's Upper Cardozo Health Center in Washington, D.C. None were flagged for autism. The problem? Latino parents often misunderstood the center's written autism screening questions. Questions were designed for English speakers and, even when translated into Spanish, tended to mystify or confuse Spanish speakers, Spectrum News reports. The answer? A Georgetown University researcher created a culturally and linguistically tailored oral screening test where clinicians asked Latino parents the autism questions. Trained multilingual interviewers, and later center clinicians, gave the oral screening to parents. Of 1,400 children screened, 4% were ...

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A New Program Looks to Help Answer Latino Mental Health Questions

For many Latinos, discussing mental health issues still retains a strong and often negative stigma. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) emphasizes that mental illness is no different for Latinos than for any other racial or ethnic group. Common mental health disorders among Latinos are generalized anxiety disorder, major depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcoholism. For many Latinos, a lack of access to mental health care resources means conditions go either untreated or undiagnosed. Language barriers also prevent many from expressing their symptoms and/or concerns to their doctors. In the city of Fresno, Calif., one group is looking to help remove some of these barriers. The Consejo Project, part of the Department of Social Work Education at ...

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Why ‘World Sleep Day’ Should Be a Wake Up Call for Latinos

sleep latino couple

Everyone needs proper sleep, especially Latinos. Lack of sleep contributes to heart attacks, diabetes, obesity and other serious health issues that disproportionately affect Latinos, CDC reports. For World Sleep Day on March 17, 2017, let's explore why sleep is important for your health, how much Latinos sleep (or don't sleep), and how you can improve your sleeping habits. World Sleep Day is directed by World Sleep Society, World Association of Sleep Medicine, and World Sleep Federation. How Much Sleep Do We Need? The National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests that children need at least 10 hours of sleep daily, teens need 9-10 hours, and adults need 7-8 hours. Why Is Getting Enough Sleep Such a Big Deal? People who get insufficient sleep are also more likely to suffer ...

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Wanted: More Latino Heart Doctors

latino doctor with patient

The number of Latino doctors has declined 22% over the past few decades, even as the Latino population has skyrocketed. But Latino heart doctors are even more rare. Only 3.2% of U.S.-trained and practicing cardiologists are Latino, compared to 41.9% white, 14.2% Asian, 2.4% African American, and about 38% unknown or other, according to a report by American Heart News. Among Latinos, most doctors internists or general practitioners. Fewer Latinos go into cardiology than surgery, psychiatry or emergency medicine. "Experts say they wish more medical students in general chose to specialize in cardiology," according to the American Heart News article. "But getting more racially and ethnically diverse cardiologists to treat patients in their respective communities is especially ...

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Rural Latinos More Likely to Die from Top 5 Causes of Death

Latino farm boy in poverty and food insecurity

Latinos and others living in rural areas are more likely to die from heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease, stroke, and unintentional injuries than their urban counterparts. These top-five causes of death account for 62% of all U.S. deaths. Among those living in rural areas, over 70,000 of these deaths were preventable, The Washington Post reports on a CDC study, including 25,000 individuals who died from heart disease and 19,000 who died from cancer. Although just 15% of the U.S. population is considered rural, they tend to be older, in poorer health, have less income and healthcare, and weight more, smoke more, and have higher blood pressure than the urban population, the Post reports. Latinos face even higher risks of heart diseases because of the disparities in ...

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Do E-Cigarettes Lead More Kids to Smoke?

After decades of educational messages and campaigns on the grave health consequences of tobacco use, fewer young people than ever smoke cigarettes. But this triumph has come with an unintended side effect. A rising number of middle and high school kids are smoking electronic cigarettes, or "E-cigarettes," according to a National Institutes of Health report. E-cigarettes are electronic devices that vaporize flavored liquids that often times contain nicotine. These alternatives to smoking tobacco come with their own set of health risks, including asthma and respiratory infections. Among Latinos, tobacco use remains a serious problem and an increasing number have begun using e-cigarettes, according to American Heart Association News. "Easy access to these products, the ...

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Rural Latinos Are More Likely to Die from the Top 5 Causes of Death

People living in rural areas are more likely to die from heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease, stroke, and unintentional injuries than their urban counterparts. The top five causes of death accounted for more than 1.5 million deaths in the United States in 2014. This figure accounts for 62% of all the deaths in the country at that time. Among those living in rural areas, over 70,000 of these deaths were preventable, The Washington Post reports. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) determined that of the preventable deaths, 25,000 individuals died from heart disease and 19,000 died from cancer. Latinos face even higher risks of cardiovascular diseases because of the disparities in high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes compared to whites. Cancer is the ...

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How to Help Latinos with Parkinson’s Disease

An amazing program is reaching out to help Arizona Latinos who are diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, which affects Latinos at twice the rate as other minorities. The program is part of the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center in Phoenix. They center has Spanish-speaking promotores visit Parkinson's patients in their homes to provide education and support across 13 visits. They also offer fitness classes, support and choir groups, painting workshops, and caregiver training classes, Cronkite News reports. Why are these services so important? Many Latinos lack proper access to health care and information about Parkinson's disease—a neurological condition that affects movement or balance—and lack resources to begin treatment and improve living conditions, Claudia Martinez of ...

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Students Deliver Critical News to Latinos ‘En Español’

More Latinos get their news via smartphones, but the number of Hispanic newspaper journalists has dropped by half since 2005. That's why Arizona State University has created a digital platform where students get real-world experience reporting critical health, education, economic, and other news in Spanish for local Latinos. The platform is called Cronkite Noticias/Mixed Voces. It is led by ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and funded by Raza Development Fund, which fosters economic growth and opportunities for Latino families across the country, ASU Now reports. The platform is guided by bilingual multimedia journalist Valeria Fernández who works "with a team of six bilingual Cronkite students to produce a variety of in-depth, Spanish-language ...

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