Here’s some of the latest health disparities news, posts and reports from this past week.
Colorlines: What Obama’s Gun Plan Means For Mental Health Care – “Among the core components of President Obama’s plan to stem an “epidemic of gun violence” announced yesterday at a high profile White House press conference are steps to expand access to mental health care. In the weeks since the murder of 20 children at Connecticut’s Sandy Hook elementary school in December, liberals and conservatives alike have raised concerns about mental illness and its relationship to mass gun violence. But while mental health seems to make its way to the top of the list of concerns after every mass shooting, it’s not at all clear what psychiatric diagnoses, mental health care and gun violence have to do with each other. Advocates for people with mental illness find themselves in a bind: on the one hand attempting to fend off the blind conflation of people with mental illness and a propensity toward mass slaughter and on the other, recognizing that moments like this present the rare opportunity for expanding the mental health safety-net.” >> Read More
New York Times: For Americans Under 50, Stark Findings on Health – “Younger Americans die earlier and live in poorer health than their counterparts in other developed countries, with far higher rates of death from guns, car accidents and drug addiction, according to a new analysis of health and longevity in the United States. Researchers have known for some time that the United States fares poorly in comparison with other rich countries, a trend established in the 1980s. But most studies have focused on older ages, when the majority of people die.” >> Read More
Hartford Courant: St. Francis Partners With Urban League To Address Health Disparities In Hartford – “To further eliminate health inequities within the city’s African American population, St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center has created a partnership with the Urban League of Greater Hartford. The Center for Health Equity and the Curtis D. Robinson Men’s Health Institute, both operated by Saint Francis, have moved into 5,400 square-feet of space in the Urban League building on Ashley Street and began operating there this week. Both organizations had previously operated out of the main St. Francis building. The Urban League is a community-based agency that provides education and professional services to the African American community in Hartford. The space, hospital officials say, will give the two health organizations more room to do their work and make it more convenient for members of the community to stop in and seek help. >> Read More
ctlatinonews: Bilingual Seniors Retain Quicker Mental Skills, Stave off Dementia – “A study from the Journalism of Neuroscience reports, “Seniors between the ages of 60 and 68 who had spoken two languages for the majority of their lives were faster at switching from one mental task to another compared to monolingual seniors.” >> Read More
Huffington Post: Hispanic Children Most At Risk For Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia – “Hispanic children are the most at risk for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) when compared to any other racial or ethnic group in the United States. Leukemia starts in the bone marrow or lymphatic tissues, and according to Latino Health Issues Collection, it is an acquired genetic injury to DNA of a single cell. Acute lymphocytic leukemia develops when the body reproduces immature white blood cells (lymphocytes) that replace regular cells in the bone marrow, and leave the body helpless and vulnerable. It’s the most common form of acute leukemia in children.” >> Read More
News Medical: Racial and ethnic minorities less likely to be screened for colorectal cancer in the U.S. – “A new study conducted in the Center for Health Policy at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health has determined that racial and ethnic minorities are less likely to be screened for colorectal cancer in the United States. The study, which analyzed data from across the country between 2000 and 2005, was conducted by Jim Stimpson, Ph.D., director of the Center for Health Policy at UNMC. Results were published in the December issue of the public health journal, Health Affairs. The data revealed that 42 percent of Caucasians were screened for colorectal cancer, compared to 36 percent of African Americans, 31 percent of Asian and Native Americans and 28 percent of Hispanics.” >> Read More
The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services: E-Games Boost Physical Activity in Children; Might Be A Weapon in the Battle Against Obesity – “Video games have been blamed for contributing to the epidemic of childhood obesity in the United States. But a new study by researchers at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services (SPHHS) suggests that certain blood-pumping video games can actually boost energy expenditures among inner city children, a group that is at high risk for unhealthy weight gain.” >> Read More