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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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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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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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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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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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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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Join a Free Virtual Health Careers Job Fair!



A step toward a career in health is one click away. The Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) is offering a free virtual health careers job fair for individuals looking to kick start their career in health. On Tuesday, Jan. 23, and Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024, the Virtual Health Professions Fair is giving potential SHPEP applicants, high school and college students, parents, and academic advisors a chance to mingle with school representatives in various health areas from across the country. Throughout the fair, those registered to attend will learn about different aspects of the health field, including application and standardized test strategies, the program itself, and the importance of diversity and representation in the healthcare field. REGISTER NOW! The Importance of ...

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Take Action to Lower Your Risk for Cervical Cancer



Today is a great time to protect yourself and others cervical cancer.    For Latinos, cancer is the leading cause of death. Latinos also are more likely than their peers to develop cancer in the liver, stomach, and cervix.  The good news is you can lower your cervical cancer risk!   In celebration of Cervical Cancer Awareness Month in January, let’s dive deeper into how we protect against cervical cancer.   Cervical Cancer Risk Factors and Symptoms   Almost all cervical cancers are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), a common virus that can be passed from one person to another during sex, according to the CDC.   There are different types of HPV. Some cause changes on your cervix that can lead to cervical cancer.   Other risk factors include having HIV (the ...

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