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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

Virtual Symposium 3/16/2021: Dementia Care in the Context of COVID-19

Dementia Care in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Impact for Families

Did you know that, every 65 seconds, someone develops Alzheimer’s disease? This number is most troubling for Latinos and women. Two-thirds of Alzheimer’s patients are women. Latinas are at higher risk than non-Latinas, and Latinos overall are 1.5 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than their White peers. Alzheimer's and other dementia impact more than the affected individual. 1 in every 3 U.S. Latino households has at least one family caregiver. These Latino caregivers—mainly women in their 40s—often juggle multiple jobs or leave the workforce entirely to enter the respectable, but high-stress, role of taking care of aging family members. Now COVID-19 is impacting both those with Alzheimer's and caregivers. This is the focus of Caring for the Caregiver at ...

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Drug Overdose Deaths During COVID-19: A Historical Spike Among Latinos?

COVID-19 Mental Health Latinos Impacts

More Americans have died from a drug overdose in the last 12 months than at any other point in history. New research has found a historical 21% spike in drug overdose deaths amid COVID-19. This data comes during a pandemic that has disproportionately affected Latinos — moreover, it's worsening already harsh historical inequities this group faces. One of those disparities is a higher rate of drug use among people of color. “Unfortunately, opioid-related deaths have reversed the trend we saw in 2018 and 2019, and COVID-19 is largely responsible,” Steven J. Martin, the dean and a professor at Ohio Northern University Rudolph H. Raabe College of Pharmacy, told General Surgery News. “All health care professionals should provide basic screening for persons suffering from drug ...

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People with Liver Diseases Suffer Higher COVID-19 Risk

Liver disease liver cancer and hepatitis viruses

Chronic liver disease can wreak havoc on the body, especially when there is a viral illness spreading worldwide. People suffering from Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) are roughly three times as likely to die from coronavirus than those who did not suffer from any liver disease, according to a recent study done at Sheba Medical Center. "It's possible that the coronavirus damages the liver similarly to the way in which it attacks the lungs," Professor Ziv Ben Ari, head of the Center for Liver Diseases at Sheba Medical Center, told The Jerusalem Post.  "It is also possible that the damage to the liver is done by the medicine given to the patient to treat COVID-19 or an immunological reaction caused by the virus, which causes a Cytokine storm, which causes a liver ...

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Report: Latino Young Adults Distrust the Tobacco, Vaping Industry

Young Americans Favor Further Tobacco Regulation

In the fight to end smoking, mass media efforts to change social norms have led to historic declines in smoking. But the tobacco industry isn't giving up. These companies aggressively market flashy, new electronic and flavored products in hopes of growing the market among youth and young adults. Still, these individuals are not so easily swayed. Young people overwhelmingly distrust the tobacco industry, especially Latinos and other youth of color, according to a recent report from The Truth Initiative. "The good news is that the public is as distrustful as ever of the tobacco and vaping industry, despite their extensive public relations and marketing strategies. For now," according to the Truth Initiative website. Wins and Losses in Public Health Leaders' Efforts to Curb ...

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How Texas is Tackling Alzheimer’s Disease Care

Texas State Health Tackles Alzheimer Disease Care

Alzheimer’s disease is an illness that affects the lives of many, and it impacts some Americans more than others.  In fact, studies show that U.S. Latinos are 1.5 times more likely to develop Alzheimer's than their White peers. That number is only going to get worse over time if dedicated action isn't taken.  The number of Latinos living with Alzheimer’s is projected to grow from 430,000 in 2014 to 3.2 million in 2060. That is more than an alarming seven-fold increase. Yet Latinos are underrepresented in clinical research across the board. Fortunately, Texas officials and researchers are working on this issue. How Big a Problem is Alzheimer's Disease in Texas and Among Latinos? The problem is huge in Texas, according to the experts. "In Texas in 2019 alone, 1650 ...

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3 Unique New Year’s Resolutions for Health (and How You Can Stick to Them)

New Year's Resolutions for Health

Lots of people will make a New Year's Resolution to live healthier in 2021. A healthier lifestyle has many benefits, from lower risk of health problems to improving mental health to spending less on expensive junk food or cigarettes. That is why our team at Salud America! works to promote news, stories, and action opportunities for health equity, where everyone has a fair, just opportunity to live their healthiest lives. Here are some unique New Year's resolutions. 1. Get More Physically Active...and Help Other People Do the Same! The risk for obesity is a problem for many Latino children and adults. Physical activity can help. A New Year's resolution to increase your physical activity can improve health, quality of life, and reduce healthcare costs. Becoming more ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 1/5: How to Start 2021 with a Healthier Lifestyle!

physical activity healthy lifestyle woman walking

Are you making a New Year's resolution for 2021? It might be spending more time outside. It might be quitting smoking. Or you could be trying to eat healthier. What we eat and drink affects our body’s ability to prevent, fight, and recover from infections, like COVID-19. Let’s use #SaludTues on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021, to tweet about how we can keep our New Year's goals of eating healthier, getting more physical activity inside and outside, and quitting smoking! WHAT: #SaludTues: How to Start 2021 with a Healthier Lifestyle! TIME/DATE: 1-2 p.m. EST (Noon-1 p.m. CST), Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021 WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag #SaludTues HOST: @SaludAmerica CO-HOSTS: @UsA2_Latinos, @VocesenSalud, @SAresearch, @Wellmedgives, @PublicHealthMap, @MotherToBaby, @Ashorg ...

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Latino-Owned Businesses Are Struggling in the Pandemic. How Can We Help?


COVID-19 isn't only disproportionately infecting and killing Latinos and causing job loss and stress. The pandemic is also hurting Latino-owned businesses. These businesses, which already face bias and racism when it comes to securing financing, have fewer resources to weather the ongoing storm of the pandemic, according to a report by the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative. In fact, 41% of Black-owned businesses, 32% of Latino-owned businesses, and 17% of White-owned businesses across the country shut down between February and April, according to a recent study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the CT Mirror reports. Thankfully, some new programs and initiatives aim to help businesses owned by Latinos and other people of color. A $5 Billion Program to Support ...

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Latino Participation Vital in Alzheimer’s Clinical Trials

Latino Alzheimer Clinical Trials

Across the board, Latinos are underrepresented in clinical research. Without adequate Latino and minority representation in clinical trials, researchers cannot find differential effects among groups nor advance public health and medicine. To address this, researchers across the country, like those at the Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases at UT Health San Antonio, are creating educational interventions to recruit certain racial/ethnic groups in diseases like Alzheimer's that are on the rise among minorities. "Studies should represent the demographics of the country," Dr. Jonca Bull, an assistant commissioner on minority health at the Food and Drug Administration, said in a recent statement. "We need to close that gap so we can better ...

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