Why Don’t Latinos Enroll in Clinical Trials?


Latinos hesitant to join clinical trials

Clinical trials are the most safe, rigorous way of testing for new and more effective disease treatments. Although Latinos comprise 18.9% of the US population, they make up just 10% of participants in clinical trials run by the National Cancer Institute and 4% of drug trials run by the FDA. This massive underrepresentation of Latinos in clinical trials makes it hard for researchers to develop new treatments for this group, which suffers a heavy burden of cancer, Alzheimer’s, and other diseases. Further, diseases present differently in Latinos than White populations – who traditionally make up most clinical trial participants. For example, Latinos on average present symptoms of Alzheimer’s approximately seven years earlier than other racial and ethnic groups, and are ...

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Inhale, Exhale: How Germs Spread from The Respiratory System


respiratory germs

It’s easy to take breathing for granted. But we should know exactly what the respiratory system is and how it can play a role in germs spreading in healthcare. This part of the body can be separated into two parts: the upper airway, including the mouth, nose, throat, and windpipe, and the lower airway, including the lungs. Germs in The Upper and Lower Airways Many germs live in the upper airway. Like with the skin and the digestive system, most of the germs that are commonly found in the nose, mouth, throat, and windpipe keep those parts of the body healthy. But sometimes those germs can cause harm when they get into the lungs. This can happen when they’re breathed in and get past the lungs’ natural defenses, or because something we do in healthcare, like ...

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7 Steps to Eliminating Racial Disparities in Healthcare


Doctor and patient.

Latinos and other people of color face heavy burdens of cancer, diabetes, and more. These disparities are driven by systemic racism and discrimination that make it harder for people of color than their White peers to get equitable healthcare, education, and more. That is why Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio is a part of the Collaborative for Anti-Racism and Equity (CARE), a group that provides tools and resources to help people make connections and inform solutions to advance health and racial equity. As part of this group, we are excited to share a new case study from the Greensboro Health Disparities Collaborative (GHDC). The GHDC – a group of community leaders, advocates, public health researchers, and healthcare professionals – resolved racial disparities in ...

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Study: Processed Food May Increase Colorectal Cancer Risk


rejecting processed food

We’re all busy with the hustle and bustle of life. It’s tempting to grab fast food or buy ready-to-eat food to avoid cooking after a long day. But choosing those ultra-processed foods may cost you more than the money in your wallet. We already know that processed food is bad for your health, but an August 2022 study in The BMJ suggests that consuming ultra-processed food may increase risk for a serious disease – colorectal cancer. Let’s unpack these study results and what they mean for Latinos. What Are Ultra-Processed Foods? Ultra-processed foods – industrial ready-to-eat or ready-to-heat formulations made of little or no whole foods – now contribute 57% of total daily calories consumed by American adults, according to the study. These foods are usually rich ...

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When To Apply Infection Control Actions


infection control

Infection control keeps germs from spreading and making people sick. Infection control actions are based on recognizing the risks for germs to spread. But what is that risk? We know that germs are found in certain places, and need a way, or a pathway, to spread to other places and people. They also need the opportunity to spread. That’s where “risk” is, and where you can keep germs from spreading with infection control actions. Identifying Risk You, your patients, and the environment can be pathways for germs to spread. Understanding how germs spread and where they live and thrive can help you understand “Standard Precautions,” which are infection control actions you perform every day for all patients to keep germs from spreading. For example, an important part ...

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Comment Now: Support the WIC Food Changes!


Latino mother & daughter grocery shopping.

You can comment now on the USDA’s new proposed revisions to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) food packages that aim to improve nutrition and promote and support breastfeeding. Proposed changes, based on scientific recommendations from a 2017 report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, include: Enhanced buying power for fruits, vegetables. Increased foods consumed less in adequacy, amount. More options for cultural eating patterns. Ability to get the quantity of formula to support any level of breastfeeding. Requiring all breakfast cereals to meet the whole grain-rich standards that already apply to school nutrition programs and the Child and Adult Care Food Program. USDA is seeking ...

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5 Ways to Practice Healthy Social Media Habits


Latino couple scrolling on phones.

Social media plays a large role in society today. People use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Tik Tok and many other platforms as daily sources for education, entertainment, work, and more. However, can spending too much time on social media have a negative impact? Researchers have continuously studied how social media affects mental health. While the results are mixed, heavy use of social media can contribute to negative factors including cyberbullying, low self-esteem, and social isolation. This is important for Latinos, 98% of whom own a smartphone and who are the highest-percentage users of Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, and WhatsApp among racial/ethnic groups. “Hispanics spent almost two more hours per week watching videos, streaming audio and social networking ...

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Food Marketing Companies Add More to Blacks’ and Latinos’ Plates


food advertising

US food and beverage companies disproportionately target Black and Latino consumers with advertising for high-calorie, low-nutrient products, including candy, sugary drinks, and snacks, according to a new study by the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Health at the University of Connecticut. This targeted advertising has been a problem for years and is consistent with findings from other studies and reports, including the recent US Access to Nutrition Index 2022. The millions of dollars companies spend on targeted marketing contributes to inequities in diet-related diseases in communities of color, including heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. “Companies express how much they respect the culture and concerns of Black and Hispanic communities, but at the same time, they appear ...

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The Insulin Crisis and Latinos


checking diabetes insulin

In 2021, nearly 1 in 5 adults in the US with diabetes either skipped, delayed, or used less insulin than was needed to save money, according to a recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Not taking the proper amount of insulin is dangerous, and can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis, which can be fatal. If six million Americans, including Latinos, need insulin to survive, why are they struggling to afford it? The Cost of Living with Diabetes Unfortunately, insulin has been unaffordable in the US for years. The cost of insulin in the past decade alone has tripled, with minimal improvements or changes to the drug. Those without health insurance are the most affected by insulin costs, such as Latinos, who remain the largest uninsured racial and ethnic group in the US. The ...

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