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Health Experts: Coronavirus Risk Increased by Smoking, Vaping

coronavirus smoking mask disease risk

Health experts say smoking and vaping weakens the function of the lungs and could leave people more susceptible to coronavirus (COVID-19), which has sickened many and continues to spread around the world. Coronavirus is now a pandemic, according to the World Health Organization. Serious consequences of COVID-19 feature pneumonia and affects the lung function, and is especially worrysome for those with weak lung or immune systems, reports Guardian Australia. Basically, this means now is a good time to quit smoking. "For most respiratory infections, you worry about people who smoke a bit more," said UK Professor Christopher Whitty, The Tab reports. "They’re more likely to get [coronavirus] and their immune system is less good." Are Smokers More Susceptible to Coronavirus ...

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Surprising Ways that Fire Is Messing with Your Health

camp fire latino friends health risks

Sitting around a fire can be a great source of warmth and fun for most; however, it also has the potential to cause a host of health complications. Tiny toxins—PM2.5 (pollution particles measuring 2.5 micrometers or less)—commonly known as “combustion particles” come from these fires and can cause some severe health impacts, research shows. Even worse, those using wood-burning stoves can face some of the worst effects. "We are increasingly concerned about particulate matter air pollution and other forms of air pollution," Dr. Joel Kaufman, professor of environmental and occupational health sciences, medicine and epidemiology at the University of Washington in Seattle, told the American Heart Association. "There's increasing evidence that certain pollutants are associated ...

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Study: Since Trump, Latino Youth Anxiety Over Immigration Has Skyrocketed

hispanic boy teen youth child immigrant sad anxiety mental health

U.S.-born Latino youth with immigrant parents suffer "significantly increased" anxiety over immigration since the election of President Donald Trump in 2016, according to a recent study. Researchers in California and Arizona studied 397 U.S. citizen children of Latino immigrants. They compared children before the election at age 14 and after the election at age 16, to see if their concerns over immigration policy linked up to worse mental, physical health. Nearly half the youth worried "at least sometimes" about U.S. immigration policy. That included whether they'd be reported to immigration officials or their parents would be deported. Their health problems surged after the 2016 election, according to the study. "Fear and worry about the personal consequences of current U.S. ...

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SNAP’s Online Grocery Program Provides Healthy Food

Online food shopping SNAP Latinos

Food deserts cause countless American families to struggle with access to nutritious, healthy meals. While this issue is pervasive, government agencies are trying to make progress in this issue with novel approaches — using the ever-growing technological landscape. In 2014, the Farm Bill passed by congress introduced an Online Purchase Pilot (OPP) that gave beneficiaries an option to use SNAP to purchase groceries online for delivery. A recent study out of Yale University found this program has the potential to help those families who live in areas that lack access to fresh foods and produce. "For individuals using SNAP, there's been a lot of bad rap about the quality of food that they purchase, and there's not been a lot of focus on trying to support individuals getting ...

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UPDATE – Coronavirus: Everything Latinos Need to Know

Latinos Coronavirus COVD-19 Virus

Updated 6/2/20 The current novel coronavirus is gripping most of the world, as governments, businesses, and every day individuals grapple with the pandemic outbreak. In the U.S., certain local, state governments have declared state-lockdowns and stay-in-place quarantines — efforts geared at limiting the spread of COVID-19. Across the world, the number of confirmed cases is rising. The U.S. has seen thousands of new cases in the past few weeks alone. The race to find medical solutions continues as Latinos—who experience worsening health inequities, disparities in exposure, testing, prevention and treatment, and job impact—and all Americans adjust to a life of social distancing amid COVID-19. What will happen when cities start opening back up? Learn more here. Original ...

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Amelie Ramirez Leads Push for Progress in Latino Cancer

Amelie Ramirez at the Advancing the Science of Cancer in Latinos conference 2020

We are in the “golden age” of cancer drug development with over 50 drugs approved for cancer treatment in the past three years. But things aren’t golden for everyone. In fact, of all the clinical trials for those 50 drug approvals, fewer than 10% of participants were Latino or other people of color. That is part of the reason why Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez of UT Health San Antonio co-hosted the 2nd Advancing the Science of Cancer in Latinos conference Feb. 26-28, 2020, in San Antonio. The conference united nearly 300 researchers, oncologists, physicians, community leaders, policymakers and students. "We can’t ensure that cancer treatments—or intervention, prevention, and outreach methods—work for Latinos if they get left out of the picture," said Ramirez, who directs ...

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8 Big Questions for Latinos on the New Public Charge Rules and Immigration

Latino immigrant family boy public charge

A new Public Charge rule is part of U.S. immigration policy, as of Feb. 24, 2020. Supporters say it will protect taxpayers from overspending on welfare. They say it will help accept self-reliant, industrious immigrants. Detractors say it will inflame deportation fears among immigrants. They say it will cause immigrants to forgo needed food, housing vouchers, and health care—even if eligible. Here is what Latinos and all people should know about Public Charge. 1. What Is 'Public Charge'? The Public Charge rule has served as an immigration policy since the 1880s. The rule sets up "grounds of inadmissibility." That is, it spells out reasons that a person could be denied a green card, visa, or admission" to the U.S., according to the Immigrant Legal Resource Center. A ...

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4 Reasons We Have Traffic Safety All Wrong

Traffic fatality rates—in decline for 50 years—are rising again. Why? Not enough effort to get vehicles off the road, traffic safety experts say. Reducing vehicle travel can boost safety. It has many social, environmental, and health benefits, too, especially for Latinos who face many transportation barriers. Yet historical transportation planning had misplaced focus in four keys area: vehicle throughput to sprawling areas, vehicle travel safety over transportation system safety, vehicle safety over roadway safety, and reducing high-risk driving over all driving. Here is a breakdown of each issue, and why we desperately need reform. 1. Historical Focus on Vehicle Throughput to Sprawling Areas What is sprawl? Reid Ewing, a nationally recognized transportation-planning ...

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Changing the Conversation on Latino Obesity for Obesity Care Week 2020

Obesity Care Week 2020 photo from the World Obesity Federation

Obesity Care Week 2020 (#OCW2020) is here! From March 1-7, 2020, Salud America!, our Latino health equity program at UT Health San Antonio, is happy to be an OCW2020 Champion to support this awareness week. Obesity Care Week has a global vision for a society that understands, respects, and accepts the complexities of obesity and values science and clinically-based care. Salud America! research shows that U.S. Latinos face inequities in many areas—from poverty and social support to access to affordable housing and transportation—that contribute to higher rates of obesity. Latino adults and children have higher obesity rates (47% and 25.8%, respectively) than whites (37.9% adults and 14% children). Addressing the root causes can help address obesity. #OCW2020 has different ...

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