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Study: Community Health Workers Can Help Address Heart Health Disparities

CHW Heart Health

Studies show that community health workers (CHWs) can help address a variety of health disparities in vulnerable populations, such as Latinos. A new study, published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, adds to this growing body of evidence. Let’s look at the findings of this study and why CHWs, also known as promotoras de salud and patient navigators, are increasingly recognized for their critical role in increasing healthcare access for medically underserved populations. The Impact of CHWs on Heart Health The new study, conducted by researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, examined high blood pressure disparities in New York’s South Asian American population. This population faces similar social and cultural barriers as Latinos in ...

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Study: Phase 1 Cancer Treatment Clinical Trials May Offer More Benefits Than in Past

clinical trials phase 1

Clinical trials are studies with volunteers that help researchers learn how to slow, manage, and treat different diseases. There are four phases of clinical trials that each help scientists answer different questions. Phase 1 clinical trials are the first step in testing a new treatment in people. They focus on evaluating the safety, side effects, best dose, and timing of a new treatment, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Phase 1 clinical trials usually include a small number of patients who have not been helped by other treatments. In the past, participants in phase 1 trials for cancer treatment generally had low tumor response rates. And, because phase 1 trials are focused on assessing safety of treatments, doctors have hesitated to refer patients to these ...

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Nearly Half of US States Are Failing Mothers and Babies

maternal health

It’s no secret that maternal and infant health in the US needs massive improvement. As 2022 comes to a close, this year’s March of Dimes Report Card for maternal and infant health is yet another indication of what our nation’s New Year’s resolution should be: improving health outcomes for mothers and babies. On an A – F grading scale, with A being the best score, and F being the lowest, the report card revealed that 24 states are failing in maternal and infant health with a grade of a “D+” or lower. Let’s unpack the report card and what these findings mean for Latinas and all women and babies. What’s Included in the Report Card? The report card uses the latest key indicators to describe and improve maternal and infant health in each state. These key ...

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Pre-term Birth Rates Increase Amid Maternal Health Crisis

Pre-term birth

The average US pre-term birth rate has risen to a 15-year high of 10.5%, according to a recent March of Dimes report. This finding further highlights the maternal health crisis in the US, where mothers, especially those of color, struggle to access maternal healthcare and are vulnerable to preventable pregnancy-related deaths, including those caused by COVID-19. How does the high pre-term birth rate impact Latinas and their babies? And what can we do to help? What is Pre-term Birth? Pre-term birth occurs when a baby is born before 37 weeks of gestation. Babies need about 40 weeks in the womb to develop before birth, according to March of Dimes. About one out of every 10 births in the US is premature, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Black and American Indian/Alaskan ...

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Study: Processed Food May Increase Colorectal Cancer Risk

rejecting processed food

We’re all busy with the hustle and bustle of life. It’s tempting to grab fast food or buy ready-to-eat food to avoid cooking after a long day. But choosing those ultra-processed foods may cost you more than the money in your wallet. We already know that processed food is bad for your health, but an August 2022 study in The BMJ suggests that consuming ultra-processed food may increase risk for a serious disease – colorectal cancer. Let’s unpack these study results and what they mean for Latinos. What Are Ultra-Processed Foods? Ultra-processed foods – industrial ready-to-eat or ready-to-heat formulations made of little or no whole foods – now contribute 57% of total daily calories consumed by American adults, according to the study. These foods are usually rich ...

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Food Marketing Companies Add More to Blacks’ and Latinos’ Plates

food advertising

US food and beverage companies disproportionately target Black and Latino consumers with advertising for high-calorie, low-nutrient products, including candy, sugary drinks, and snacks, according to a new study by the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Health at the University of Connecticut. This targeted advertising has been a problem for years and is consistent with findings from other studies and reports, including the recent US Access to Nutrition Index 2022. The millions of dollars companies spend on targeted marketing contributes to inequities in diet-related diseases in communities of color, including heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. “Companies express how much they respect the culture and concerns of Black and Hispanic communities, but at the same time, they appear ...

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CDC: Majority of US Pregnancy-Related Deaths Are Preventable

preventable pregnancy death

The US has the highest maternal mortality rate among developed countries, and 84% of those pregnancy-related deaths are preventable, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These shocking statistics can be difficult to digest, especially since the US spends more on healthcare per capita than other industrialized nations. What is causing these preventable deaths? And how are Latinas impacted? Let’s unpack the report’s findings and implications. What is a Preventable Pregnancy-Related Death? A pregnancy-related death is a fatality that occurs during pregnancy, delivery, and up to a year postpartum due to a pregnancy complication, a chain of events initiated by pregnancy, or the aggravation of an unrelated condition caused by the ...

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Latinos, Act Against HPV-Associated Throat Cancer 

HPV throat cancer

HPV-associated throat cancer is on the rise in men. With the typical patient being 50 to 60 years old, Black and Latino men are dying from the disease at higher rates than their white counterparts, regardless of the stage of diagnosis or the type of treatment they receive. These staggering statistics come from a 2022 study published in the Annals of Cancer Epidemiology. Here’s what you need to know about HPV-associated throat cancer, and what you can do to help prevent it. What Causes HPV-Associated Throat Cancer?  HPV is short for human papillomavirus and is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. There are many types of HPVs, some of which can cause cancer later in life, according to ...

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Clinical Trial Identifies Potential Treatment for Asthma in Latino Children


Clinical trials can help researchers learn to better treat asthma – but they need diverse volunteers. Black and Latino children who have severe asthma, are prone to asthma attacks, and live in low-income urban neighborhoods are underrepresented in asthma treatment clinical trials, even though they are more likely than whites to face health inequities that can exacerbate asthma symptoms. Fortunately, a recent National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded clinical trial with mostly Black and Latino children found that a monoclonal antibody – mepolizumab – can decrease asthma attacks by 27%. Antibodies are made naturally in the body to fight infection. A monoclonal antibody is made in the laboratory and administered to patients to treat a variety of diseases and infections, ...

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