Latino Parents Worried about Teen Social Media Use, Urge Policy Safeguards



Social media has become a part of everyday life and routine, especially for young Latinos.      While social media can offer supportive communities and educational resources, it can also bring harmful impacts and habits.  Nearly half of Latino parents are “extremely concerned” over the potential harmful impact that heavy social media use can have on their pre-teen children’s mental health, according to new data from the Brookings Institution.  “The Latino community is particularly vulnerable to mental health challenges as a result of social media use,” according to Brookings report.   Let’s dig deeper into what the data says and how it affects Latinos.   Young Latinos and Social Media  The Brookings Institution survey, led by the Omidyar Network, ...

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Stormee Williams: Helping Screen Families for Social Needs in Dallas



At her annual wellness visit, Dr. Stormee Williams filled out a digital questionnaire that asked about her need for help with housing, transportation, food access, and other non-medical needs. Williams was taking an “SDoH Screener.” An SDoH screener is a questionnaire to help healthcare workers identify a patient’s issues with the social determinants of health (SDoH), the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age, and the wider set of social, economic, and political systems that shape life. If a screener finds a patient in need, healthcare workers can then connect the patient to community support and resources. Helping patients address these non-medical needs can help them achieve better health. Williams, fortunately, didn’t have non-medical ...

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After COVID: Many Latinos Still Stuck in Inflexible Jobs



When COVID-19 hit, it hurt many Latinos who worked in industries and jobs with few benefits and no flexibilities to respond to childcare disruptions.   Unfortunately, after the pandemic, that situation remains.  The industry and occupational distribution of Latino parents with low incomes remains largely unchanged from pre- to post-pandemic for mothers and fathers, according to a recent study from the National Research Center on Hispanic Children and Families.  “We provide the first national portrait of the industries and occupations that employ Latino parents with low incomes in the aftermath of the pandemic, and highlight employment shifts that occurred during the pandemic,” according to the study.   Let’s dive into the study finding and how it impacts Latino ...

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Salud America! Team Member Wins Hackathon on Cancer Data!


Edgar Munoz of IHPR Salud America UT Health San Antonio Hackathon cancer data

Edgar Muñoz, a statistician at Salud America! at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at UT Health San Antonio, has won the Hackathon at VCU Massey Cancer Center's first-ever Catchment Area Data Conference on Dec. 7-9, 2023! The conference brought together data experts from U.S. cancer centers. Attendees shared best practices in data collection, handling, dissemination, and utilization, while exploring policies and methodologies to advance cancer center catchment area analytics and community engagement. For the Hackathon, Muñoz showcased the CancerClarity app (try it here) with his teammates, Alex VanHelene of Rhode Island Hospital and Nuen Tsang Yang of UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. The CancerClarity app offers users an interactive exploration of ...

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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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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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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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