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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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3 Resources to Use During Healthy Weight Week



National Healthy Weight Week is recognized on the third week of January every year and focuses on achieving and maintaining healthy weight through healthy eating, physical activity, optimal sleep, and stress reduction.   Obesity affects more than 40% of Americans, placing them at higher risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.    Latino adults and children have among the highest rates of obesity.  With this in mind, let’s explore resources that can help you start achieving a healthy weight and improve your health!   Get Help Changing Your Habits for Healthy Weight  The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) provides a guide, “Changing Your Habits for Better Health,” in English or ...

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How You Can Promote Healthy Vision for Glaucoma Awareness Month



Glaucoma is defined as a group of eye diseases that can cause vision loss and blindness by damaging a nerve in the back of your eye, called the optic nerve.  At first, glaucoma doesn’t usually have any symptoms.   “Over time, you may slowly lose vision, usually starting with your side (peripheral) vision — especially the part of your vision that’s closest to your nose. Because it happens so slowly, many people can’t tell that their vision is changing at first,” according to the National Eye Institute (NEI).   With the month of January recognized as Glaucoma Awareness Month, let’s explore helpful glaucoma-related resources that can help people protect their vision!    Types of Glaucoma   There are several types of glaucoma, with some being caused by ...

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Top Doctor Shares Why the COVID-19 Vaccine is Important



The COVID-19 virus is still a threat for many.   U.S. Latinos continue to suffer a disproportionate share of COVID-19 cases.    Fortunately, vaccines are available and free for children and adults, and they’re the best way to protect yourself and your family against the worst outcomes of the virus!    Dr. Ramon Cancino, a family medicine physician at UT Health San Antonio and leader of the UT Health Physicians Primary Care Center, stressed the importance of getting vaccinated.   “If we have enough folks who are vaccinated in our community, it'll protect everybody else, too, because transmission and infection rates would be decreased amongst those patients, which would decrease the risk for everybody else,” Cancino said.   Find a vaccine near ...

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How Does Social Media Impact Teen Health?



35% of U.S. teens say they are using at least one of YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook “almost constantly,” according to Pew Research Center.  How does social media impact adolescent health?  There are complex benefits and harms, according to a new report that tackles the effects of social media on children and adolescents’ physical and mental health, from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM).  This is important for Latinos, 98% of whom own a smartphone and who are the highest-percentage users of Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, and WhatsApp among racial/ethnic groups.    “The use of social media—rather than having purely negative or positive impacts—is likely a constantly shifting calculus of the risky, the ...

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Are COVID-19 Vaccines Free for Adults?



We have come a long way in our fight against COVID-19, in large part thanks to vaccines that help us prevent serious illness and death.  But the virus has not gone away.  Fortunately, vaccines are available and free for adults, and they’re the best way to protect yourself and your familia against the worst outcomes of the virus!  Let’s explore how “You’re Covered” against COVID-19!  COVID-19 Vaccine Recommendations for Adults  CDC recommends everyone ages 5 and older should get 1 dose of an updated COVID-19 vaccine to protect against serious illness from COVID-19.   People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised may get additional doses of updated COVID-19 vaccine.  Staying up to date with your COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to protect ...

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Protect Your Family from RSV



With the winter season in full swing, it’s peak time for flu, COVID-19, and RSV.   Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms.  Most people recover in a week or two. But RSV can be serious, especially for infants and older adults. Latino children also face a “significantly higher burden.”  “[A recent study] found that 59% of the burden of respiratory infections [including RSV] was distributed among Blacks and Hispanics, despite these population groups being ethnic minorities in the US,” MD Newsline reports.  Let’s dive into how RSV can be transmitted, common symptoms, and how you can protect yourself and loved ones from getting infected.   What Are the Symptoms of RSV?  People infected with RSV ...

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Toolkit: How to Screen for Sugary Drink Consumption in Early Childhood


screen for sugary drinks doctor parent child

Did you know Latino kids consume more sugary drinks—soda, sports and energy drinks, sugary fruit juices, and flavored milk—than the average child? Heavy consumption of sugary drinks puts children at greater risk of obesity and disease. This is why Healthy Eating Research created a new toolkit to help healthcare systems add a beverage screener to their electronic health record (EHR) system to ask parents questions about their child's sugary drink consumption. The goal is to identify "unhealthy beverage consumption patterns in young children and [help] families develop healthy beverage habits," according to the toolkit. How Can You Start Screening for Sugary Drinks? The new toolkit shows how health systems can start screening for sugary drinks as part of their electronic ...

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Restoring Trustworthiness in the Healthcare System



The COVID-19 pandemic hurt public trust in healthcare and science. Trust is especially low among communities that experience health disparities and barriers to healthcare, according to Dr. David W. Baker of The Joint Commission in Illinois. “Black and Latino communities faced inadequate testing, financial barriers to care, and disproportionately high rates of COVID-19 cases and deaths, further threatening their trust in physicians, the health care system, public health, and science,” Baker wrote in his article, Trust in Health Care in the Time of COVID-19. Misinformation and a lack of trust in healthcare can spur a cycle of reduced care and ultimately contribute to worse health outcomes. But how can trust in healthcare be restored? Reasons for Latino Distrust in ...

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