Forum to address why more Latinos don’t participate in medical research

LatinaLista.net — Today, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (UPSTF) released an update to its 2002 recommendations now recommending that all women ages 65 and older be routinely screened for osteoporosis.

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According to the UPSTF:

Osteoporosis is more common in women than men and is more common in whites than any other racial group. For all demographic groups, the rates of osteoporosis rise with increasing age.

The USPSTF recommends screening for osteoporosis in women ages 65 and older and in younger women whose fracture risk is equal to or greater than that of a 65-year-old white woman who has no additional risk factors.

This report and its conclusion that there is a higher incidence of osteoporosis among white women underscores an issue that will be the focal point of what is being billed as a groundbreaking forum on the state of Latino participation in medical research.

Dubbed “Todos Juntos por la Salud” or All Together for Health,” the forum hopes to address the disparity of Latinos participating in medical research. As the forum’s organizers write:

Although Hispanics and Latinos represent 16 percent of the U.S. population, they comprise only 3 percent of the approximately 260,000 Americans who volunteer to participate in medical research each year. With the U.S. population estimated to grow 30 percent by 2050, steps need to be taken now to achieve greater Hispanic and Latino representation in medical research.

With so few Latinos participating in medical studies, how can it be known for certain that one group is more afflicted with a disease than another? Or reacts to medication in a certain way? Or has a built-in resistance to a particular strain of virus? Or…you get the point.

In February, the Todos Juntos por la Salud forum will convene in Dallas, Texas. The discussion will center on the root causes behind the disparity and how various groups can collaborate to heighten awareness in the Latino community.

In addition, the forum has four objectives:

1. Illuminate entry barriers to recruiting Hispanics and Latinos into research studies in the United States.

2. Learn how to overcome cultural and other barriers limiting Hispanic and Latino involvement in clinical research.

3. Identify additional ways to promote disease awareness among Hispanic and Latino communities.

4. Share best practices, outcomes, and insights with stakeholders to advance education and awareness.


With the U.S. population estimated to grow 30 percent by 2050, steps need to be taken now to achieve greater Hispanic and Latino representation in medical research.

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