What Is Thirdhand Smoke? How Can You Protect Against It?



Many know of the harms and health risks of smoking and secondhand smoke.   However, you may not have heard of thirdhand smoke, which is the chemical pollutants that linger and settle indoors after tobacco is smoked.   “The chemicals in thirdhand smoke include nicotine as well as cancer-causing substances such as formaldehyde, naphthalene and others,” according to the Mayo Clinic.  Policy gaps are failing to protect the public from thirdhand smoke, according to a recent study.  The study suggests that policies safeguard against thirdhand smoke even as they protect against secondhand smoke exposure by prohibiting indoor smoking in public places.  “While these measures have been instrumental in protecting public health, saving lives, and reducing health care ...

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Apply Now for Genentech’s Health Equity Innovation Funding



Everyone deserves health equity – a fair, just opportunity to be their healthiest. But the reality of U.S. healthcare is that people of color, including Latinos, face higher risk for life-threatening diseases than their white peers due to systemic inequities in education, housing, food, healthcare, and more. While these inequities threaten health outcomes, efforts are rising to close the gaps. Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, along with The Genentech Foundation, has been on the front lines of the health equity crisis, advocating for equitable treatment and representation for the last several years. This includes the company’s multimillion-dollar Health Equity Innovation Fund. Launched in 2019, the Health Equity Innovation Fund has given grantees the funds to address key ...

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What Would Happen If More People Got Cancer Screenings?



Cancer screening can help catch cancer early when it is more treatable. But participation in screening is sporadic at best, especially among Latinos.  What would happen if more people got screened for cancer?  To find out, a team of U.S. and Canadian researchers used computer modeling to estimate the number of deaths that could be prevented, and the harms caused, if more people followed recommended cancer screening guidelines.  Let’s explore what they found and what it means for Latino cancer.  The Impact of More Screening: Potential Lives Saved  Cancer screenings can catch early cases of lung, colorectal, cervical, and breast cancers.  But only 13% of people eligible are up to date for lung cancer screening; 69% for colorectal cancer screening; 73% for cervical ...

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Free Program Seeks to Ease Stress, Promote Heart Health in San Antonio



The way into a person’s heart is through their mind — at least that’s the case in the “A Mindful Heart: Stress Management for Individuals with Hypertension” program. Program leader Dr. Stacy Ogbeide of the Department of Family & Community Medicine at UT Health San Antonio is taking a psychological approach to address hypertension, which is a key risk factor for many heart diseases, including cardiovascular diseases. Dr. Ogbeide is looking for adults with high blood pressure living in San Antonio to participate in a free program that focuses on stress management intervention in a group setting, which can include education, arousal reduction, such as relaxation training, and behavioral skills training, like coping strategies. “The group format has been recommended when ...

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Study: Latinos Suffered Big Losses in Health Coverage, Care Amid COVID-19



Racial/ethnic disparities in health insurance coverage and healthcare access worsened during the pandemic, according to a new study in the journal Geospatial Health.  The study found Latinos and African Americans were the most affected populations.     “Our results suggest that loss of insurance coverage and reduced access to health services deepened inequities in an already uneven healthcare landscape, particularly for African American and Hispanic/Latino populations,” according to the study researchers.  Let’s dive into what the data found and what this means for Latinos.   How Did COVID-19 Impact Healthcare for Latinos?  Study researchers – from CDC, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public ...

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San Antonio: Apply for Money to Help Translate Science to Benefit Public Health



The Institute for Integration of Medicine & Science (IIMS) at UT Health San Antonio and the UTSA College for Health, Community, and Policy (HCaP) are now accepting proposals for one-year Community Engagement Small Project Grants.  The grants, which are worth up to $5,000, are given in hopes of promoting, developing, and expanding community and scholarly research partnerships aimed at turning science into clinical reality.  Funds awarded can be used for community-engaged research or assessment, education or training, and the distribution of research results, project details, or policy implications.  “The goals of community engagement are to build trust, discover new resources and allies, create better communication, and improve overall health outcomes as successful ...

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The State of Cigarette Smoking and E-Cigarette Use in Latinos



Only 7.7% of Latino adults in 2021 smoked cigarettes, which is lower than the national prevalence of 11.5%, the Truth Initiative reports.  But the news isn’t all good.  While Latino adults have a lower usage rate of all tobacco products than adults overall, smoking prevalence differs widely within Latino subgroups and by gender.  Let’s explore Latino tobacco use and why it matters for health.  Cigarette Smoking Patterns in Latino Adults    Latinos in the U.S. that identify as Puerto Rican reported the highest current smoking prevalence at 17%. The lowest rates are among Latinos with Central or South American origin (6%), the Truth Initiative reports.  Latina women have a lower smoking rates (6%) than Latino men (12%).    In 2022, 7.8% of young Latino adults ...

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New Cancer Cases Projected to Surpass 2M Historical High



New cancer cases are projected to surpass 2 million in 2024 - a first in for the U.S., according to American Cancer Society’s Cancer Facts & Figures 2024 report.  The landmark projection amounts to 5,500 diagnoses a day.  The American Cancer Society attributes the rise in cases to a growing and aging population along with an increase in diagnoses of six common cancers – breast, prostate, endometrial, pancreatic, kidney, and melanoma.  In addition, the organization is projecting over 611,000 deaths from cancer in 2024, a .19% increase from 2023. That is more than 1,600 deaths each day!  While cancer is prevalent across people of all races, ethnicities, ages, genders, and backgrounds, it disproportionately continues to affect people of color, such as Latinos.  Cancer in ...

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Millions of Latinos at Risk for Losing Medicaid, CHIP Coverage in 2024 



The time is now to secure medical insurance through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).  After three years of automatic renewal because of the COVID-19 pandemic, states went back to screening for eligibility in early 2023.  As a result, an estimated 15 million people, including 4.6 million Latinos, could lose their medical coverage through these programs over the next few months, depending on what state you live in.   To address this, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is launching a new online resource to help people navigate the renewal and/or healthcare transition processes.   “Nobody who is eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program should be disenrolled simply because they didn’t have enough ...

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