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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

Studies: COVID-19 May Damage Brain, Increase Risk of Dementia, Alzheimer’s


latino couple elderly wearing face masks to prevent covid-19 coronavirus dementia alzheimers

Many studies are uncovering an alarming link between COVID-19 and dementia. One study found that more than 80% of 509 hospitalized COVID-19 patients had "neurologic manifestations," according to Northwestern Medicine. The brain inflammation and mini-strokes observed in COVID-19 patients may increase their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia, another study found. Now a new study from the UK found that people diagnosed with COVID-19 in the previous six months were more likely to develop depression, dementia, psychosis and stroke. "The study confirms the researchers suspicions that a COVID-19 diagnosis is not just related to respiratory symptoms, it is also related to psychiatric and neurological problems", Prof Dame Til Wykes, at the Institute of ...

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Tasty News: FDA to Ban Menthol Cigarettes and Flavored Cigars


fda to ban menthol cigarettes and cigars 2021

Tobacco remains the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. That is why, on April 29, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced plans to ban menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars within the next year. The aim is to save lives and prevent future generations of smokers. This decision was made in response to a citizen petition filed in 2013. Public health and civil rights groups have long argued people of color have been disproportionately harmed by menthol cigarettes. The tobacco has industry targeted its ads at Black and Latino communities for decades. “Banning menthol—the last allowable flavor—in cigarettes and banning all flavors in cigars will help save lives, particularly among those disproportionately affected by these deadly ...

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7 Unique Campaigns that Are Fighting the Youth Vaping Crisis


Latino teens e-cigs vaping smoking tobacco 21

Millions of teens are hooked on vaping. In 2017, 1 of 10 U.S. high school students used e-cigarettes. In 2019, 1 of 3 U.S. high school students used e-cigarettes, according to CDC data. As the popularity of youth vaping and e-cigarettes has surged, so has the public's confusion over the health risks these products pose. The health risks are real. The U.S. Surgeon general called teen vaping a national health epidemic. The World Health Organization reports e-cigarettes are "not harmless" and "pose risks to users and non-users." Many groups are trying to get the word out. Several innovative campaigns, many of which are bilingual to help reach Latino audiences, are working to address health issues like youth use of e-cigarettes and vaping. 1. CDC: 'Protecting Young People from ...

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New Bilingual Materials Aim to Boost Cultural Competence


doctor latina latino cultural comptence with phone looking at bilingual materials

Cultural competence is the ability to understand, appreciate, and interact with people from cultures or belief systems different from one's own. This is often lacking in health care. Latinos, for example, experience discrimination and implicit bias in the doctor’s office, and face a systemic lack access of social support. That's why we are excited to share new bilingual materials from various agencies the U.S. Department of Health and Humans Services (HHS) aiming to improve cultural competence and equitable access to care. "Providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services (CLAS) in health and healthcare is one way to improve the quality of services provided to all individuals, which will ultimately help reduce health disparities and achieve health equity," ...

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With Smoke-Free Homes, Fewer Kids Admitted to Hospital for Asthma Issues


latino hispanic family in apartment housing home multifamily smoke-free policy

We know secondhand smoke is deadly. We also know that, inside places like apartments, people are exposed to secondhand smoke as it travels through doorways, halls, windows, ventilation systems, and electrical outlets. So what if we could cut secondhand smoke exposure in the home? Well, after a national media campaign to reduce cigarette smoking in homes in Scotland, hospital admissions of under-five-year-old children dropped 25%, according to a recent study in Lancet Public Health. "Our findings suggest that smoke-free home interventions could be an important tool to reduce asthma admissions in young children, and that smoke-free public space legislation might improve child health for many years, especially in the most deprived communities," according to the ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 4/6: Latino Participation Is Vital in Clinical Trials


female doctor clinical trials

Do you know fewer than 5% of Latinos participate in federal clinical trials? There is a historical lack of targeted research about Latino health inequities and how to address them, and a lack of diversity in clinical trials. Researchers thus have less chance to develop new treatments for this population, which suffers a heavy burden of certain cancers, dementia, obesity, and mental health issues. That's why we're excited to use #SaludTues on April 6, 2021, to tweet about how to increase Latino participation in clinical trials to prevent health disparities, to mark National Minority Health Month in April.  WHAT: Tweetchat: “Latino Participation Is Vital in Clinical Trials" TIME/DATE: 1-2 p.m. ET (Noon-1 p.m. CT), Tuesday, April 6, 2021 WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag ...

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New Bilingual Materials Boost Awareness of Latino Mental Health


Latino mental health sad Latina with face mask covid

Latinos are the least likely group to get help with mental health treatment, according to a recent survey. This is due to stigma against mental illness, systemic distrust in mental health services, or lack of access to and knowledge of treatment, all of which is worsened amid COVID-19. This is why the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) offers free brochures and fact sheets on mental health disorders and related topics for patients and their families, health professionals, and the general public — in English and Spanish. "NIMH offers basic information on mental disorders and related topics in Spanish for patients and their families, health professionals, and the public," according to NIMH information. "Printed materials can be ordered free of charge and are available ...

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Amid COVID-19, Fewer Smokers Are Trying to Quit, as Tobacco Sales Rise


latino man smoking with face mask down amid coronavirus covid-19

Smoking and COVID-19 can each kill. And when you compound one's effect on the other, the harm is clearly evident. Amid a pandemic that has killed about 100,000 Latinos, there has been a significant drop in the number of people who are attempting to quit smoking using services provided by healthcare organizations, according to a recent report from the North American Quitline Consortium (NAQC). This is alarming considering the dangers of smoking amid the current coronavirus infecting people across the nation, according to Dr. Susan Walley, a tobacco control expert and professor at University of Alabama at Birmingham. “Smokers are at a higher risk for greater complications such as death, admission to intensive care and mechanical ventilation when they contract COVID-19,” she ...

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Cities Are Turning Stores, Hotels, and Offices into Affordable Housing Havens



The COVID-19 pandemic is having a devastating impact on housing and homelessness. City and state leaders know this. Many are implementing policies and creating unique affordable housing conversion projects that aim to make progress in solving this problem. One such piece of legislation, the "Housing Our Neighbors With Dignity Act," from New York, will enable the state to buy office buildings and hotels that have been struggling during the pandemic and turn them into affordable housing. “The housing problem in our cities has gotten worse. But, the crisis of growing vacancies in our commercial property provides an opportunity,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a recent speech. “We should convert vacant commercial space to supportive and affordable housing and we should do ...

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