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More Latinos Desperately Needed for Clinical Trials

For years, studies have shown that Latinos have a profound mistrust of doctors and scientists. Consequently, Latinos participate in clinical trials at far lower rates than other ethnic groups, which perpetuates the health disparities seen with many diseases like Alzheimer’s and certain cancers. This also makes it harder for researchers to find treatments that work best for Latinos. Minorities actually represent less than 30% of those enrolled in clinical trials sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), according to a recent report. Latinos comprised less than 7.6% of trial participants. “There hasn’t been a single [prostate] screening trial including a significant number of Latinos or blacks … yet it impacts our practice and we have no data to know if it ...

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Does Your Zip Code Affect How Long You Live? The Short Answer: Yes!

These days, ZIP code isn’t only for your mail. ZIP Code is a bigger predictor of our life expectancy than our genetic code. For the first time in our country’s history, the U.S. is raising a generation of children who may live sicker and shorter lives than their parents, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. But there’s good news. For the first time ever, a census-tract-level data on life expectancy at birth has been released to help stimulate change. The expectancy estimates—released by The United States Small-Area Life Expectancy Estimates Project (USALEEP), a joint effort of the National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, and the ...

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How Rural America Became a Hospital Desert


Where we live plays a significant role in our healthcare. But many Americans don't have easy access to the healthcare they need. In the United States, 5% of rural hospitals have shut down since 2010 with maternal and obstetric care taking the hardest hit. About 16% of the mainland United States are 30 miles or more away from the nearest hospital, CNN reports. These areas with no access to a hospital are called "hospital deserts." Many regions that are hospital deserts also have higher rates of poverty and income gaps, leaving many residents with no options for emergency or regular healthcare. "There's a lot of people out in the rural community who feel like they've been forgotten," Jessica Thompson, a registered nurse who lives in a hospital desert in Tonopah, Nev., told ...

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Latino and Black Neighborhoods Flooded with Food Swamps in Dallas


Food swamps cover large parts of the Dallas area. In fact, almost 700,000 Dallas County residents—including more than 245,000 children—live in low-income communities with limited supermarket access, according to a Dallas Morning News report. Food Swamps & Latinos We already know that food deserts and food swamps are making low-income Latinos obese.  A food desert is an area more than 2 miles or 15 minutes away from a grocery store. A food swamp includes a food desert and a high-density of stores and restaurants that offer high-calories fast food and junk food, relative to healthier food options. It can be hard for Latina mothers to navigate food swamps. For Dallas’ Latino and black populations in areas like Pleasant Grove, Oak Cliff, and East Dallas, food ...

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Study: Latino, Black Children More Likely to Die of Certain Cancers

Latino and black children are more likely to die of numerous childhood cancers than their white counterparts, NPR reports on a new study in the Journal of Cancer. Latinos also are more likely to receive a cancer diagnoses in later, less curable cancer stages. Socioeconomic status plays an enormous role in childhood cancer survival as well. Latino and black children are more likely to live in areas of poverty, which subjects them to persistent racism and institutional bias. "We know that there are some economic differences that are closely tied to race and ethnicity," Rebecca Kehm, lead author of the study, told NPR. "I wanted to show that there are other factors at play than the genetic component." The Study: Social Class & Disparities Cancer is the leading cause of death ...

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Diabetes After Age 50? It May Be an Early Sign of Pancreatic Cancer in Latinos

nurse with hispanic latino older couple diabetes pancreatic cancer

Late onset diabetes may be a sign of pancreatic cancer in Latinos and African-Americans, according to a new study. The study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, linked recent-onset diabetes with a 2.3-fold greater increase in risk of pancreatic cancer than long-standing diabetes. Latinos have higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes and pancreatic cancer than their peers. Study Results & Implications Pancreatic cancer is one of the most fatal cancers. It has a five-year survival rate of only 8%. This is because eight in 10 pancreatic cancer patients get diagnosed at a late stage. Most diabetes patients with pancreatic cancer are diagnosed with diabetes less than three years before the cancer diagnosis. Among pancreatic cancer patients undergoing ...

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Maternal Healthcare Is Disappearing In Rural America

Pregnant girl dressed on the field

Lengthy drives to hospitals to give birth are becoming more common, The New York Times reports. 85 rural hospitals have shut down since 2010, which is about 5% of the country’s total. Maternal and obstetric care has been hit the hardest due to many factors including the cost of providing round-the-clock delivery services against declining birthrates as well as doctor and nursing shortages and falling revenues. Fewer than half of America’s rural counties still have a hospital that offers obstetric care, specifically labor and delivery wards. Specialists are heading to lucrative settings in bigger cities. Many reproductive healthcare services have been forced to close their doors in rural towns. This causes many tough issues for women and families. Pregnant women go to fewer ...

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Prepare Your Kids’ Ears for Back to School

noisy planet back to school combined image

Parents and teachers, back-to-school bells are ringing. Have you taken steps to protect the ears and hearing of your children and students? Noise-induced hearing loss—sounds of packed hallways and cafeterias, band practices and concerts, and sporting events—can permanently damage hearing. Thankfully, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders has an awesome bilingual campaign: El mundo es ruidoso. Proteja la audición de sus hijos. (It’s a Noisy Planet. Protect Their Hearing.). The campaign helps parents and teachers promote healthy hearing habits: Noisy Planet’s Teacher Toolkit. This toolkit helps teachers instruct preteens about the causes and prevention of noise-induced hearing loss. It provides easy-to-use resources and step-by-step ...

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Call for Help: Mental Health Helpline Coming to South Texas

Hope Famil Health Center mental health warm line

Struggling with behavioral or mental health issues? If you're in South Texas, there will soon be a phone number you can call to get help. Hope Family Health Center is starting a "Warm Line," a phone line that will connect callers to peers who have dealt with and overcome behavioral and mental health issues, The Monitor reports. The Warm Line is expected up in January 2019. "There may be somebody that will be going through a crisis or close to a crisis and need somebody to talk to and [they're] isolated and don’t want to call the hospital for help or don’t have the resource," Rebecca Stocker, leader of Hope Family Health Center in McAllen, told The Monitor. "They can call the warm line and speak with someone who has gone through something similar and help them build on ...

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