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Pramod Sukumaran

Sukumaran completed a PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology and an MPH in Population Health Analytics. He curates content for Salud America! on family support and health projects at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at UT Health San Antonio. His emphases is on the latest research, reports and resources related to various disease and policies, to improve Latino health.


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Articles by Pramod Sukumaran

#SaludTues Tweetchat 1/7: Why Folic Acid is Important for Latina and All Moms-to-Be


pregnant latina checkup baby

Folic acid has long been linked to a healthy pregnancy. In fact, pregnant women who consume a folic acid vitamin and folate-rich food have lower risk of their babies experiencing major neural tube birth defects of the brain (anencephaly) and spine (spina bifida). More than 300,000 neural tube birth defects happen every year in the U.S. Latinas face a higher risk. They also have lower knowledge about the benefits of folic acid, along with lower folic acid consumption compared to women from other racial/ethnic groups. To celebrate National Folic Acid Awareness Week (January 7-13), let’s tweet with #SaludTues on Jan. 7, 2020, to spread the importance of folic acid among Latinas and all mothers-to-be. WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: Why Folic Acid is Important for Latina and ...

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Congress to Raise Tobacco, E-Cigarette Purchasing Age to 21


Latino teens e-cigs vaping smoking tobacco 21

Amid mounting health concerns over teen vaping, the U.S. Congress voted on Dec. 19, 2019, to raise the purchasing age for all tobacco products—including e-cigarettes—from 18 to 21, the New York Times reports. President Trump is expected to sign the measure on Dec. 20, 2019. Experts say raising the purchasing age will reduce the number of people who begin smoking at very young age. Nearly 9 out of 10 smokers started smoking by age 18. The rule is also a response to deadly health concerns over teen vaping. The CDC announced in December 2019 that 54 people died and 2,506 cases of lung-related illnesses had been reported due to vaping. “Raising the tobacco age to 21 is a positive step, but it is not a substitute for prohibiting the flavored e-cigarettes that are luring ...

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Elaine Hartle: Helping Foster Youth Prepare for Life’s Challenges


Elaine Hartle with foster care youth in San Antonio (via Express-News) 2

The foster care system aims to support children whose parents can't support them. But what happens when those children grow up and leave the system at age 18, and are not prepared for life on their own? Within a year, 40% of foster youth are homeless. Others are pregnant or in jail. Elaine Andries Hartle hates to see it. That's why Hartle, leader of the THRU Project, works to bridge the gap between foster care and a life of health and independence for youth as they age out of the foster care system in San Antonio (63% Latino). "It's really hard to improve your life if you don't know where you're staying tonight and, unfortunately, there are just very few transitional living programs in San Antonio that can teach these kids to live independently," Hartle told KSAT News. ...

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Facebook Commits $1 Billion to Ease California Housing Crisis


facebook California housing crisis big tech san francisco (via New York Times)

Facebook has announced a $1 billion pledge for grants, loans, and land to address the California housing crisis that it and other tech giants helped create. The $1 billion commitment will be distributed for five projects: $250 million for mixed-income housing on excess state-owned land where housing is scarce. $225 million in land that Facebook recently purchased in Menlo Park, home of Facebook’s headquarters, where real estate prices have skyrocketed. The plan is for over 1,500 units of mixed-income housing. $150 million to build affordable housing in the San Francisco Bay Area, including housing for the homeless. $25 million to build housing for teachers and essential workers in San Mateo and Santa Clara, enabling them to live near the schools where they work. ...

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Salud America! Members Speak Up for Graphic Warning Labels on Cigarette Packs!


cigarette warning labels graphic FDA quit smoking

Over 402 members of the Salud America! network sent emails to the FDA to speak in favor of the newly required health warning labels for cigarette packages and advertisements. The proposed rule, open for public comment from Aug. 16 to Oct. 15, 2019, and later extended to Nov. 27, 2019, would implement a provision of the Tobacco Control Act that requires FDA to issue regulations requiring color graphic labels that depict the negative health consequences of smoking along with written warning statements. Graphics include striking visuals of harm among children, babies, and self. “Given that tobacco use is still the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the U.S., there’s a lot at stake to ensure the public understands these risks," Dr. Ned Sharpless, Acting FDA ...

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Social Smoking Damages Your Lungs Almost as Much as Heavy Smoking


teen smoking cigarettes

A new study published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine suggests that there is no safe level of tobacco smoke exposure and that smoking cessation is the most effective means of harm reduction. Researchers from Columbia University examined the lung function of 25,000 people, including smokers, ex-smokers, and those who have never smoked. The study found that people who smoke five cigarettes a day are doing almost as much damage to their lungs as people who smoke more than 30 cigarettes a day. "Light" or "social" smokers will develop as much lung damage in one year as "heavy" smoking does in nine months. The study also noted that each lit cigarette releases 7,000 chemicals, 69 of which are considered to be cancer-causing substances. "Smoking a few cigarettes a day is much ...

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California Passes Landmark Law: Statewide Rent Control, Eviction Protections


Latino minority family moving into affordable housing for health equity

More than most states, California is plagued by rising housing costs. Recently California lawmakers approved a statewide rent cap, covering millions of tenants, the biggest step yet in a surge of initiatives to address an affordable-housing in the state. California’s housing activists won a major victory in mid-September when the state legislature passed, and Gov. Gavin Newsom signed on Oct. 8, 2019. The New Housing Law The new law is also know as Assembly Bill 1482. The key features of the new law are: The new law will limit annual rent hikes to 5% plus the regional cost-of-living increase, or a maximum of 10% per year. Tenants will also receive eviction protections after living in an apartment for a year, meaning they cannot be ousted without a reason such as ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 10/15: Latinos and AIDS: Problems + Solution


stop-hiv-aids-latinos-hispanics-tweetchat

1 in 6 Latinos living with HIV/AIDS don't even know they have it. With 10,292 Latinos newly diagnosed with HIV in the U.S. in 2016, this population group needs access to culturally competent care and prevention education. To celebrate Natinoal Latinx AIDS awareness day (Oct. 15) and Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15), let’s use #SaludTues on Oct. 15, 2019, to tweet about Latinos and HIV/AIDS WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: Latinos and AIDS: Problems + Solution DATE/TIME: Noon CT (1 p.m. ET) Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019 WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag #SaludTues HOST: @SaludAmerica CO-HOSTS: The National Latino AIDS Awareness Day @NLAAD, PublicHealthMaps @PublicHealthMap, Communicate for Health Justice @_CFHJ, Eudes Foundation USA @FEudesUSA, US Department of Health ...

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