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Alyssa Gonzales

Articles by Alyssa Gonzales

The Harsh Impact of Alcohol on the Latino Community


Latino drinking alcohol.

Alcoholism in the U.S. has increased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. “A one-year increase in alcohol consumption in the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic is estimated to cause 8,000 additional deaths from alcohol-related liver disease, 18,700 cases of liver failure, and 1,000 cases of liver cancer by 2040,” according to a press release from the Massachusetts General Hospital. In addition, deaths caused by alcohol are up, too. After increasing 2.2% a year over the previous two decades, deaths involving alcohol jumped 25.5% between 2019 to 2020, totaling 99,107 deaths,” according to a 2022 study. “Deaths involving alcohol reflect hidden tolls of the pandemic. Increased drinking to cope with pandemic-related stressors, shifting alcohol policies, and disrupted ...

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Caring For Caregivers: Support for Families Impacted by Dementia


Latina Caregiver

Caregivers are a lifeline for people living with dementia. But who is the lifeline for caregivers? The Caring for the Caregivers program at UT Health San Antonio serves as a resource and support for patient caregivers and families through evidence-based education and research. “We envision a community where family caregivers are valued, respected, and supported with compassion. We are committed to values of social justice, collaboration, and family-centeredness in research and practice,” according to the Caring for Caregivers webpage. Learn about the programs, events, and tools that can help your family! Latino Caregivers by the Number Latinos are greatly impacted by dementia. About 13% of Latinos who are 65 or older have Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, ...

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37% of Latinos with Children Suffer from Depressive Symptoms


Latino Parent

Over a third of lower-income Latino adults living with children had frequent anxiety or depressive symptoms this past fall and winter, according to a new analysis from the National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families. Of those 37% who experience symptoms, many do not receive mental health services to assist them. “This includes 33 percent of Latino adults who reported frequent anxiety symptoms, 26 percent who reported frequent depressive symptoms, and 22 percent who reported both; these rates are statistically higher than seen among their higher-income Latino peers,” according to the research center’s data. Let’s explore the factors that contribute to these symptoms and how Latinos can seek the resources and help that they need. What Causes These Mental ...

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New Study Aims to Create Risk “Scorecard” for Dementia/Alzheimer’s Disease


Clinical Trials on Alzheimer's

Researchers at UC Davis Health and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth Houston) are working on a new study to predict who is most at risk for dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. The study includes creating a health ‘scorecard’ for dementia risk. Here’s what you need to know about the study and how you can participate. Study Goal UT Health San Antonio will be the clinical research site for the Diverse Vascular Contributions to Cognitive Impairment and Dementia (Diverse VCID) study. Data will be collected through brain scans, genetics, and other key biomarkers. “Putting these very different pieces of information together, our ultimate goal is to really come up with a risk profile,” Dr. Charles DeCarli, Professor of Neurology and ...

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Will Your Child Get Free School Lunches This Year?


free school lunches

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many schools had the flexibility to offer school meals free to all public-school students. Now, some of this flexibility is expiring and many schools can only serve free meals to certain students starting this 2022-2023 school year, according to the USDA. “As we all get through this change, we ask everyone to be patient with school nutrition professionals and thank them for working to help children during such a tough time. The [USDA] and the Biden-Harris Administration fully support the school leaders and school meal heroes running the school meals programs,” according to the USDA. For Latino students, whose families often face wage gaps and nutrition insecurity, these changes could have a significant impact. Here is what these recent ...

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7 Must-Know Facts about the Latino Youth Mental Crisis


Latino Youth Mental Health

Youth are facing a mental health crisis that is so widespread that U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy has issued a new advisory calling it an “urgent public health issue.” That is especially true for Latino youth. But why? Let’s explore the mental health challenges impacting Latino youth, and how we can make a difference for these children and teens. 1. Latino Youth Struggle with Suicide and Depression Depression is the most debilitating health issue in the Latino community, NoStigmas reports. Around 17.7% of Latinos suffer from depression during their lifetimes. Only 7.2% of Latinos are diagnosed with depression compared to white Americans. In addition, suicide is the 12th-leading cause of death for both Latino and non-Latino people of all races.  8.6% ...

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What Latino Parents Should Know: COVID-19 Vaccinations Authorized for Children Under 5


COVID-19 Vaccinations authorized for children starting at 6 months

Big news for Latino parents – the Moderna and the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized for children between ages 6 months and 5 years. The CDC now recommends everyone 6 months or older to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Those 5 years of age and older are also recommended to get a COVID-19 vaccine booster, if eligible. “Many parents, caregivers and clinicians have been waiting for a vaccine for younger children and this action will help protect those down to 6 months of age.  As we have seen with older age groups, we expect that the vaccines for younger children will provide protection from the most severe outcomes of COVID-19, such as hospitalization and death,” said FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert M. Califf in a press release. With this recent update, it ...

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