+ ++ Report: Obesity, Diabetes Are Biggest Health Threats in South Texas | Latina Lista
BlogBeat

Report: Obesity, Diabetes Are Biggest Health Threats in South Texas

Report: Obesity, Diabetes Are Biggest Health Threats in South Texas

SaludToday

Diabetes and obesity are the two most significant health threats in South Texas, according to a new report published online in Springer Open Books by the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) in the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

The South Texas Health Status Review, originally self-published in 2008, was updated this year to study more than 35 health conditions and risk factors and how people in South Texas may be differently affected than those in the rest of Texas or nation.

The Review, in addition to singling out diabetes and obesity, also indicates that the South Texas region faces higher rates than the rest of Texas or nation for:

  • Cervical, liver, stomach and gallbladder cancers
  • Child and adolescent leukemia
  • Neural tube defects
  • Other birth defects
  • Tuberculosis
  • Chlamydia
  • Childhood lead poisoning

“The Review is a roadmap of the health inequalities that burden the health of South Texas residents, especially Hispanics, compared the rest of Texas and nation,” said Amelie G. Ramirez, Dr.P.H., lead editor of the Review and director of the IHPR at the Health Science Center. “We hope this knowledge motivates researchers and public health leaders to create and shape interventions to reverse those inequalities.”

South Texas, a 38-county region spanning 45,000 square miles along the Texas-Mexico border and northward up to Bexar County, is home to 18 percent of the state’s population.

Yet South Texas residents, who are predominantly Hispanics, struggle with lower educational levels, less income and less access to health care.

To chart the health status of the region, Dr. Ramirez teamed up with the Texas Department of State Health Services with support from the Health Science Center’s Regional Academic Health Center (RAHC), represented by regional dean Leonel Vela, M.D., and the Cancer Therapy and Research Center (CTRC), represented by director Ian M. Thompson, M.D.

The team analyzed county, state and national data to compare South Texas’ incidence, prevalence and mortality rates for more than 35 health indicators—from communicable diseases like HIV/AIDS to cancers to maternal health and even environmental health—to the rest of Texas and the nation by age, sex, race/ethnicity and rural/urban location.

The Review found that South Texas had higher rates, compared to the rest of Texas, for 12 of the health indicators analyzed. Incidence rates for many of the health indicators were even higher for South Texas Hispanics than non-Hispanic whites.

For example, the percentage of obese adults in South Texas (32.7%) was higher than that of the rest of Texas (29.1%) and nation (27%).

Hispanics in South Texas also were more obese (37.9%) than their white counterparts.

“Obesity, a risk factor for diabetes and certain cancers, can be directly linked to lifestyle behaviors, such as inadequate physical activity and poor eating habits,” Dr. Ramirez said. “Prevention research efforts directed at obesity and diabetes could significantly reduce the burden of disease in South Texas communities.”

(Featured Photo Credit: Texas Tribune)

Click to add a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

BlogBeat

More in BlogBeat

2_461_12928a81-6ed5-4e3c-be23-8dfe50af78e3

More Mexicans are leaving the US than coming across the border

Latina ListaJanuary 5, 2016
2_454_03bc190f-3ad8-4aec-8e45-f6d77114e7ad

Black, Latino Boys in Boston Want Better Schools

Latina ListaDecember 21, 2015
2_450_3c520db6-5dc2-4698-bd58-df175083955a

Maps track spread of U.S. social movements

Latina ListaDecember 17, 2015
2_446_4f6e28c8-08c7-4bff-a70e-497c0aca2963

The Woman Who Made Sure We Remembered The Alamo

Latina ListaDecember 16, 2015
2_440_2f5403e1-c75f-4690-b300-d0a2045cb28b

Sports history shows why playing ball with Cuba makes sense

Latina ListaDecember 15, 2015
2_435_44064724-1dc6-428e-88af-d1bd1c395b8c

Helping Latina children’s book author nationally shine with the #DRUMITUP campaign

Latina ListaDecember 10, 2015
2_430_76f4e942-2f50-4ca1-9aa1-4f2999224188

Do custom news feeds give us rigid views?

Latina ListaDecember 9, 2015
2_426_c0fc302c-7074-4bca-bbc2-c56bcbd9c171

Research: Latino Families Have Worse Access to Healthy Food

Latina ListaDecember 8, 2015
2_420_e9e0bd4d-b4d9-42bf-9e81-ef5b65957c7c

FAFSA Application: Everything You Need to Know in 2016

Latina ListaDecember 7, 2015