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Valenzuela, Carlos A

Articles by Valenzuela, Carlos A

Heart Disease is No. 1 Killer of Latinas; Find Helpful Resources in Spanish

Heart Disease is the No. 1 killer of Hispanic women, taking the life of one woman a minute. However, despite this heightened risk, most are still unaware of the threat to themselves and their families. The treatment of diseases like high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, and high cholesterol is guided by a set of general recommendations that the American Heart Association has been publishing since 1999 as a critical “weapon” in the fight against heart disease. Recently, these official guidelines were updated to include new research information, especially with regard to heart health in women. The updated guidelines also emphasize the importance of recognizing racial and ethnic diversity and its impact on cardiovascular disease. "These recommendations underscore the ...

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Latina, Black Women Face Delays in Breast Cancer Treatment

Black and Hispanic women newly diagnosed with breast cancer often face delays in care of more than a month, a large study has found, according to a news report. The study, which appears in the February issue of the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, found that 62.4% of African-American women and 59.3% of Hispanic women received a diagnosis of stage II or stage III breast cancer compared with 48.9 percent of white women. Delays in treatment were apparent in the new study, as African-American and Hispanic women had higher risks of 30-, 60- and 90-day delays compared to white women. The risk of a 60-day treatment delay was 76% higher among black patients with private insurance than that of white patients with comparable insurance. Hispanics with private insurance had ...

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Web-Based Anti-Smoking Program Targets Hispanic Youth

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center's free Web-based teen smoking-cessation and prevention program, ASPIRE, now speaks Spanish. ASPIRE (A Smoking Prevention Interactive Experience) aims to prevent middle-school and high-school teens from smoking or help them quit before it becomes a lifelong addiction. The site integrates interactive media, customized messages, graphics, animations and streaming videos. "We've found that participating students are more aware about the dangers of smoking, are making more informed decisions about smoking and are less tempted to start in the first place," said developer Dr. Alexander V. Prokhorov, a professor at MD Anderson. "Removing the language barrier will help tremendously in reaching and educating Hispanic teens, especially those ...

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IHPR Researcher Gets Grant to Study HPV Vaccine Use by South Texas Latinas

Congrats to Dr. Deborah Parra-Medina! The researcher at our Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR), the team behind SaludToday, is one of two researchers at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio to get a grant in the new round of prevention research awards from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. Dr. Parra-Medina will receive $297,173 for a peer education and outreach program encouraging use of the HPV vaccine to prevent cervical cancer among Latina mothers and daughters living in Texas-Mexico border communities. The program will train “promotoras,” or community health workers, who will be assisted by female college students to educate Latina mothers and daughters about cervical cancer risk factors and the HPV vaccine, which prevents cervical ...

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LIVESTRONG Spanish-Language Survey to Gauge Latino Cancer Survivors’ Needs

Anyone who has been affected by cancer is invited to take LIVESTRONG's first-of-its-kind Spanish-language survey to further understand how cancer impacts Latinos and gather data that will inform evidence-based programs, resources and tools to improve their lives and close gaps in health disparities. Survey results, expected to be released laster this year, are expected to provide a comprehensive understanding of how Latinos are living with cancer and help LIVESTRONG and the cancer community improve programs and resources to serve them. Community-specific data will also be available for researchers, program planners and others. Please take the Spanish survey ...

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Texas Children, Especially Hispanics, Face Gaps in Wellbeing

Texas children are falling behind the rest of the country in nearly every aspect of child well-being, according to officials at Austin-based Texans Care for Children, a multi-issue, nonpartisan policy organization, Miller-McCune reports. The 76-page report, “A Report on the Bottom Line: Conditions for Children and the Texas of Tomorrow,” drawing upon Census data, demographic forecasts and national and state data sources, finds Texas is on a course for stunning economic failure unless it closes gaps in well-being for the child population, especially Hispanic children. “A sick, uneducated, unskilled work force does not propel a state forward,” Eileen Garcia, CEO of Texans Care for Children, writes in the report’s preface, according to the news report. “The devastating ...

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1 in 5 Americans Lack Usual Source of Medical Care; Hispanics Cite High Costs

Roughly 60 million people—1 in 5 Americans—have no usual source of medical care, such as a family doctor, and Hispanics were more likely to say that high cost is a reason, according to data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Most who reported not having a usual source of care said the main reason was because they seldom or never got sick. An analysis of reasons differed in these ways: Hispanics were more likely to say high cost was the main reason why they didn't have a usual source of care (22%), compared to 12% of non-Hispanic groups. Blacks were most likely to report that they didn't have a usual source of care because they seldom or never got sick (69%) as compared to Hispanics (62%) and whites (61%). Asians were most likely to report that ...

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Exploring the Hispanic Paradox on the Texas Border

Many of the longest lives in Texas are lived in what would seem to be the least likely place: along the state’s impoverished border with Mexico, according to a report by the Texas Tribune. Despite conditions that should have the opposite effect — desperately low incomes, a widespread lack of health insurance and poor high school graduation rates — the predominantly Hispanic residents of Hidalgo County live to be 80 years old, two years longer than the U.S. or Texas average. Residents of other Texas border counties live similarly long lives, according to a preliminary county-by-county analysis by the University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. It's what's known as the Hispanic paradox. Read more the Texas Tribune's look at this phenomenon here. Or ...

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New Drug Shows Promise Fighting Type of Breast Cancer Seen More in Latinas

One of the more aggressive types is triple negative breast cancer, which is diagnosed most frequently in young women and new mothers, and even more so among black and Hispanic women. Now, two North Texas doctors are making major strides in treating triple negative breast cancer. Their work is so promising, the New England Journal of Medicine is publishing a study about the investigational treatment this month, WFAA-TV reports. Research from the doctors show a drug called iniparib, also called BDI-201, has prolonged the lives of more than 50 percent of the patients who have used the treatment. Watch the entire WFAA-TV news segment here or ...

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