Celebrating Galentine’s Day with Drs. Amelie Ramirez and Patricia Chalela

Galentine's Day

You’re probably familiar with Valentine’s Day on February 14. Every year, couples dote on each other and exchange candy, roses, and other gifts. But have you heard of Galentine’s Day? On February 13, Galentine’s Day is a time for women to celebrate their friendships with their gal pals, or lady friends. In honor of Galentine’s Day 2023, Salud America! is highlighting the incredible work and friendship of Drs. Amelie Ramirez and Patricia Chalela, two Latina researchers at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at UT Health San Antonio. The duo has a 30-year history working together to mitigate health inequities and disparities in the Latino community through public health research. Their contributions to Latino health equity are immeasurable. Let’s take ...

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The Insulin Crisis and Latinos

checking diabetes insulin

In 2021, nearly 1 in 5 adults in the US with diabetes either skipped, delayed, or used less insulin than was needed to save money, according to a recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Not taking the proper amount of insulin is dangerous, and can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis, which can be fatal. If six million Americans, including Latinos, need insulin to survive, why are they struggling to afford it? The Cost of Living with Diabetes Unfortunately, insulin has been unaffordable in the US for years. The cost of insulin in the past decade alone has tripled, with minimal improvements or changes to the drug. Those without health insurance are the most affected by insulin costs, such as Latinos, who remain the largest uninsured racial and ethnic group in the US. The ...

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Celebrating National Latino/a Physician’s Day!

Physician Day

Latinos make up almost 19% of the total US population, but account for only 6% of US physicians. This lack of Latino representation in medicine negatively affects Latino patient health. For example, Latinos may be less likely to get the care they need due to physician implicit bias and language and cultural barriers. Studies also show that a lack of diversity in healthcare workers contributes to heath inequities, such as higher rates of maternal health issues in Latinas and worse health outcomes for Latino cancer patients, compared to their white counterparts. To boost diversity, Drs. Michael Galvez and Cesar Padilla are leading the effort to celebrate Oct. 1, 2022, as National Latino/a Physician’s Day. “We need more Latino and Latinas in medicine that are able to take ...

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Study: Latino Life Expectancy is Improving, But Not Everywhere

Latino life expectancy all of us research cancer

Have you ever wondered how where you live affects your life expectancy? Now you can find out thanks to the first comprehensive, US county-level life expectancy estimates. The analysis, published in Lancet by researchers at the University of Washington and others, estimates life expectancy for five racial/ethnic groups, including Latinos, in 3,110 US counties over 20 years (2000-2019). Let’s explore what the study found about Latino life. What Is Latino Life Expectancy? Nationally, the study revealed that life expectancy for Latinos increased an average of 2.7 years – from 79.5 years in 2000 to 82.2 years in 2019 – during the 20-year study period. This increase in life expectancy was larger than average (2.3 years) and the highest life expectancy nationally and across ...

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Baby Formula Shortage Highlights Health Inequities for Mothers of Color

Embarrassed to breastfeed shortage latina mothers

Parents of babies across the US are struggling to feed their children due to a baby-formula shortage. The pain of the shortage is particularly felt among low-income families, such as Blacks and Latinos, who already suffer inequities in maternal and child health. The shortage began during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, when America seemingly ran out of everything – from toilet paper to fresh produce. In late February 2022, a baby formula recall, which caused two infant deaths, worsened the shortage. In many states, including Texas and Tennessee, where infants depend on formula for more than half of their diet, formula is sold out in stores. For parents such as Yury Navas, an immigrant Latina mother in Maryland, providing formula for her child is especially ...

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What is the Latino Immigrant Paradox and Its Tie to Mental Health?

Latino Immigrant Paradox

Migrating and resettling in a new country is a difficult process, marked with mental, emotional, and physical challenges, including potential family separation. For Latino immigrants, challenges may continue even after resettlement in the US, including significant socioeconomic and healthcare access disadvantages. Despite these hardships, studies show that Latino immigrants have better physical and mental health outcomes compared to their US-born counterparts. This interesting phenomenon is known as the Latino Immigrant Paradox. And the paradox applies to parents, too, according to a new report. Latino immigrant parents have a lower prevalence of mental health disorders (29%) than Latino parents born in the United States (51%), according to a report by the National Research ...

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Latinos Face Challenges in Achieving a ‘Just Recovery’ From COVID-19: Exploring the 2022 County Health Rankings National Report

Where you live, work, and play significantly impacts overall wellbeing. That’s why it’s important to explore and understand health inequities that can impact quality of life and health outcomes for Latinos and other people of color. County Health Rankings & Roadmaps (CHR&R) is one such resource that helps leaders and county residents evaluate their community on a national scale. Created by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, CHR&R publishes an annual national findings report. The report revealed worsening health trends for women, minorities, and low-income individuals in 2022, similar to the 2021 report findings, but driven by COVID-19, the worst public health crisis in more than a ...

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Latinos Experience Major Health Inequities in Most U.S. States

Latinos Health Inequities Most States

We know Latinos and other racial/ethnic minorities experience health, social, and environmental inequities that increase their risk for disease. But just how widespread is the problem? Very few states do not face major issues with health inequities and health disparities, according to the Commonwealth Fund’s new report, “Achieving Racial and Ethnic Equity in US Health Care: A Scorecard of State Performance.” The authors of the report list many inequities that make an impact, and they also note that the system that promotes these trends is to blame. “Decades of policy choices made by federal, state, and local leaders have led to structural economic suppression, unequal educational access, and residential segregation, all of which have contributed in their own ways to ...

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Take a Survey: Latinos, How Has COVID-19 Impacted You?

The Rutgers Community Health Justice Lab is inviting Latinos to complete this brief anonymous survey to understand the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on Latino health. The survey, which takes 45 minutes to complete, is available in Spanish and English. You can also enter a raffle for one of five $100 gift cards. "Understanding how Hispanics and Latinos have been impacted by the COVID pandemic is critical to guide efforts in reducing health inequity," according to survey creators Pamela Valera and Humberto Baquerizo and their team at Rutgers University. Why Latinos Should Participate in this COVID-19 Survey? COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted the Latino community. COVID-19 pandemic is worsening historical inequities among racial/ethnic minorities. “This is robbing ...

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