Minority Health

Study Finds Green Spaces Linked to Lower Racial Disparity in COVID-19 Infection Rates

Study Finds Green Spaces Linked to Lower Racial Disparity in COVID-19 Infection Rates

Research from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign demonstrates that a greater number of green spaces in a community lowers racial disparities in COVID-19 infection rates between Blacks and Caucasians. Even after controlling for income, chronic conditions, and urban density, study results persisted. Green spaces improve air quality while also encouraging physical activity and boosting mental health, all of which support the immune system. These and other factors may explain study findings.

Study: Native Hawaiians Have Greater Risk for Pancreatic Cancer

Study: Native Hawaiians Have Greater Risk for Pancreatic Cancer

A University of Southern California study that was published in Cancer Medicine provides insights into racial disparities and pancreatic cancer risks. Among Latino, African American, Japanese, European, and Native Hawaiian Americans Hawaiians have the highest risk for pancreatic cancer, a 60% increased risk compared to Europeans. The research pinpoints various factors that could be fueling these differences.

Why Asian Americans Don’t Seek Help for Mental Illness

Why Asian Americans Don’t Seek Help for Mental Illness

Mental health stigma affects all ethnicities, cultures, and nationalities, but Asian Americans may be more impacted than most. The National Latino and Asian American Study reported that while 18% of the general U.S. population sought mental health services and resources, only 8.6% of Asian Americans did so. A related study found that white U.S. citizens take advantage of mental health services at three times the rate of Asian Americans.

So, why don’t most Asian Americans seek help for mental illness?

How Sleep Helps Teens Deal with Social Stress

How Sleep Helps Teens Deal with Social Stress

A new Michigan State University study found that a good night’s sleep does adolescents good – beyond helping them stay awake in class. Adequate sleep can help teens navigate challenging social situations.

The study, which focused on ninth grade students, found that adequate sleep allowed students to cope with discrimination and challenges associated with ethnic or racial bias. It also helped them problem-solve more effectively and seek peer support when faced with hardships.

Asian Americans and the Model Minority Dilemma

Asian Americans and the Model Minority Dilemma

In light of recent attacks, a BU Asian health expert on the group’s experiences of racism, alienation, and anxiety

Many Asian Americans live their daily lives with a baseline unease that most white Americans rarely experience.

That unease, says Hyeouk Chris Hahm, a School of Social Work professor and chair of social research, ratcheted up last year after then-President Trump branded COVID-19 “the China virus,” a repeated reference that has been blamed for a 150 percent increase in crimes against Asian Americans . . .

Social Support and a Purpose in Life May Help Preserve Cognitive Abilities with Age in Hispanics/Latinos

Social Support and a Purpose in Life May Help Preserve Cognitive Abilities with Age in Hispanics/Latinos

Higher social support and having a sense of purpose in life are each associated with higher cognitive functioning in middle-aged and older Hispanics/Latinos, while loneliness has a detrimental effect on cognition, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention | Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Scientific Sessions . . . 

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Study Finds Green Spaces Linked to Lower Racial Disparity in COVID-19 Infection Rates

Study Finds Green Spaces Linked to Lower Racial Disparity in COVID-19 Infection Rates

Research from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign demonstrates that a greater number of green spaces in a community lowers racial disparities in COVID-19 infection rates between Blacks and Caucasians. Even after controlling for income, chronic conditions, and urban density, study results persisted. Green spaces improve air quality while also encouraging physical activity and boosting mental health, all of which support the immune system. These and other factors may explain study findings.

Study: Native Hawaiians Have Greater Risk for Pancreatic Cancer

Study: Native Hawaiians Have Greater Risk for Pancreatic Cancer

A University of Southern California study that was published in Cancer Medicine provides insights into racial disparities and pancreatic cancer risks. Among Latino, African American, Japanese, European, and Native Hawaiian Americans Hawaiians have the highest risk for pancreatic cancer, a 60% increased risk compared to Europeans. The research pinpoints various factors that could be fueling these differences.

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Why Asian Americans Don’t Seek Help for Mental Illness

Why Asian Americans Don’t Seek Help for Mental Illness

Mental health stigma affects all ethnicities, cultures, and nationalities, but Asian Americans may be more impacted than most. The National Latino and Asian American Study reported that while 18% of the general U.S. population sought mental health services and resources, only 8.6% of Asian Americans did so. A related study found that white U.S. citizens take advantage of mental health services at three times the rate of Asian Americans.

So, why don’t most Asian Americans seek help for mental illness?

How Sleep Helps Teens Deal with Social Stress

How Sleep Helps Teens Deal with Social Stress

A new Michigan State University study found that a good night’s sleep does adolescents good – beyond helping them stay awake in class. Adequate sleep can help teens navigate challenging social situations.

The study, which focused on ninth grade students, found that adequate sleep allowed students to cope with discrimination and challenges associated with ethnic or racial bias. It also helped them problem-solve more effectively and seek peer support when faced with hardships.

Asian Americans and the Model Minority Dilemma

Asian Americans and the Model Minority Dilemma

In light of recent attacks, a BU Asian health expert on the group’s experiences of racism, alienation, and anxiety

Many Asian Americans live their daily lives with a baseline unease that most white Americans rarely experience.

That unease, says Hyeouk Chris Hahm, a School of Social Work professor and chair of social research, ratcheted up last year after then-President Trump branded COVID-19 “the China virus,” a repeated reference that has been blamed for a 150 percent increase in crimes against Asian Americans . . .

Social Support and a Purpose in Life May Help Preserve Cognitive Abilities with Age in Hispanics/Latinos

Social Support and a Purpose in Life May Help Preserve Cognitive Abilities with Age in Hispanics/Latinos

Higher social support and having a sense of purpose in life are each associated with higher cognitive functioning in middle-aged and older Hispanics/Latinos, while loneliness has a detrimental effect on cognition, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention | Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Scientific Sessions . . .

Digital Health Divide Runs Deep in Older Racial and Ethnic Minorities

Digital Health Divide Runs Deep in Older Racial and Ethnic Minorities

The COVID-19 pandemic is a great example of the importance of access to the Internet and to digital health information.

A study led by Florida Atlantic University’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing . . . examined the extent of computer ownership, Internet access, and digital health information use in older (ages 60 and above) African Americans, Afro-Caribbeans, Hispanic Americans and European Americans.

Results of the study . . . revealed a deep digital health divide . . .

Asian-American Groups Vary in Life Years Lost to Premature Heart Disease, Stroke

Asian-American Groups Vary in Life Years Lost to Premature Heart Disease, Stroke

Risks of death from heart disease and stroke vary among American-Asian subgroups, with Asian Indian, Filipino and Vietnamese populations at greatest risk for losing years of life to heart disease or stroke, according to new research in Journal of the American Heart Association . . .

“Usually researchers combine Asian subgroups in studies, masking what might be important health differences,” said Latha Palaniappan, M.D., M.S., study author . . .

Online Racism Leads to Real-World Mental Health Challenges

Online Racism Leads to Real-World Mental Health Challenges

Whether it’s a “Zoombomb” filled with racial slurs, a racist meme that pops up in a Facebook timeline, or a hate-filled comment on an Instagram post, social media has the power to bring out the worst of the worst.

For college students of color who encounter online racism, the effect of racialized aggressions and assaults reaches far beyond any single social media feed and can lead to real and significant mental health impacts . . .

How Medical Schools Can Transform Curriculums to Undo Racial Biases

How Medical Schools Can Transform Curriculums to Undo Racial Biases

Lectures and assessments misuse race, play a role in perpetuating physician bias, Penn Medicine researchers found

Medical school curriculums may misuse race and play a role in perpetuating physician bias, a team led by Penn Medicine researchers found in an analysis of curriculum from the preclinical phase of medical education. [T]he researchers identified five key categories in which curriculum misrepresented race in class discussions, presentations, and assessments.

Study Puts Price Tag on Lost Earnings from Racial Disparities in Cancer Mortality

Study Puts Price Tag on Lost Earnings from Racial Disparities in Cancer Mortality

A new American Cancer Society study puts a price tag on racial disparities in cancer mortality, finding that $3.2 billion in lost earnings would have been avoided in 2015 [alone] if non-Hispanic (NH) blacks had equal years of life lost from cancer deaths and earning rates as NH whites. The study appears in JNCI Cancer Spectrum.

Strange Colon Discovery Explains Racial Disparities in Colorectal Cancer

Strange Colon Discovery Explains Racial Disparities in Colorectal Cancer

The colons of African Americans and people of European descent age differently, new research reveals, helping explain racial disparities in colorectal cancer – the cancer that killed beloved “Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman at only 43.

Scientists led by UVA Health’s Dr. Li Li and Graham Casey, along with Matt Devall of the Center for Public Health Genomics, found that one side of the colon ages biologically faster than the other in both African Americans . . .

American Indians May Have Higher Risk of Dangerous Afib

American Indians May Have Higher Risk of Dangerous Afib

An irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation, or AFib, occurs more often among American Indians than among other racial and ethnic groups, according to a new study.

Researchers reviewed more than 344,000 new cases of AFib in California from 2005 through 2011. On average, there were 7.5 new cases per year for every thousand American Indian patients . . . Among other racial and ethnic groups, there were 6.9 new AFib cases a year for every thousand patients.

Black and Hispanic Americans at Higher Risk of Hypertension, Diabetes, Obesity: Time to Fix Our Broken Food System

Black and Hispanic Americans at Higher Risk of Hypertension, Diabetes, Obesity: Time to Fix Our Broken Food System

Vulnerability to COVID-19 is much greater for Black Americans.

Here we break down CDC data for three health conditions known to increase the risk associated with COVID – hypertension, obesity, and diabetes – by race and gender. All three are strongly related to diet and nutrition, and highlight the need for reform of the U.S. food system.

Commuting Patterns Could Explain Higher Incidence of COVID-19 in Black Americans

Commuting Patterns Could Explain Higher Incidence of COVID-19 in Black Americans

The disproportionately high COVID-19 infection rates observed in Black Americans could be linked to their daily commuting patterns, according to a new study . . .

The research found that increased exposure to other ethnic groups, for example as a result of an individual's job or use of public transport, can result in the emergence of an "infection gap" in the population, such as the abnormally high incidence of COVID-19 recorded in Black Americans.

Black Newborns Die Less When Cared for by Black Doctors

Black Newborns Die Less When Cared for by Black Doctors

In the U.S., Black newborns die at three times the rate of white newborns. However, new research from the University of Minnesota finds that Black newborns’ in-hospital death rate is a third lower when Black newborns are cared for by Black physicians rather than white physicians. Their findings were recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).

Asian Ethnicity Strongly Linked to COVID-Related Stroke

Asian Ethnicity Strongly Linked to COVID-Related Stroke

Asian ethnicity is strongly linked to COVID-related stroke, reveals an analysis of stroke centre activity in England and Scotland . . .

Among patients with ischaemic stroke, which is caused by a blocked artery, nearly 1 in 5 (20%) of those with COVID-19 infection when they had their stroke were Asian--more than twice the proportion seen in ischaemic stroke patients without COVID-19.

Virus That Causes Mono May Increase Risk of MS for Multiple Races

Virus That Causes Mono May Increase Risk of MS for Multiple Races

Like whites, Hispanic and black people who have had mononucleosis, commonly known as mono, which is caused by Epstein-Barr virus, may have an increased risk of multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a new study published in the August 30, 2017, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Heart Disease, Diabetes Rates Higher for American Indians, Alaska Natives

Heart Disease, Diabetes Rates Higher for American Indians, Alaska Natives

Type 2 diabetes affects American Indians and Alaska Natives at three times the rate of their white peers and is linked to high rates of heart attacks and strokes, according to a new report.

The scientific statement from the American Heart Association, published Thursday in its journal Circulation, gives an overview of cardiovascular disease disparities . . .

Study Dives into Genetic Risk of Alzheimer's and Dementia for Diverse Latinx Groups

Study Dives into Genetic Risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia for Diverse Latinx Groups

Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD) are degenerative brain diseases that affect over 5.8 million people in the U.S. Rates of ADRD are higher among Black and Latinx individuals compared to non-Latinx white individuals. APOE-ε4 is the strongest known genetic risk factor for ADRD , however this finding is largely based on studies of individuals of European descent. To better understand the association of the APOE gene with cognitive decline in Latinx . . .

Ethnic Differences in BMI and Disease Risk

Ethnic Differences in BMI and Disease Risk

The chance of developing diabetes, heart disease, and other weight-related health risks increases with increasing body mass index (BMI). But there’s strong evidence that at any given BMI, these health risks are markedly higher in some ethnic groups than others.

The Nurses Health Study, for example, tracked patterns of weight gain and diabetes development in 78,000 U.S. women . . .

Black and Hispanic Americans Bear a Disproportionate Burden from Air Pollution

Black and Hispanic Americans Bear a Disproportionate Burden from Air Pollution

Poor air quality is the largest environmental health risk in the United States. Fine particulate matter pollution is responsible for more than 100,000 deaths each year from heart attacks, strokes, lung cancer and other diseases.

But not everyone is equally exposed to poor air quality . . .

Black and Hispanic Americans bear a disproportionate burden from air pollution generated mainly by non-Hispanic white Americans, according to new research . . .

Study: Big Soda’s Ads Target Young People of Color

Study: Big Soda’s Ads Target Young People of Color

In June, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo pledged to support Black Lives Matter. But according to a new study of advertising of sugary drinks to children, their money tells a different story: Despite an epidemic of obesity, TV ads for sugary drinks targeting Black and Hispanic preschoolers, children and teens rose dramatically from 2013 to 2018.

The study, from the University of Connecticut’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, reveals the two corporations spent more than $1 billion . . .

Study: Women of Color Exposed to More Toxic Chemicals in Personal Care Products

Study: Women of Color Exposed to More Toxic Chemicals in Personal Care Products

Women of color use more beauty products and are disproportionately exposed to worrisome chemicals compared to white women, according to a new study.

The study, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, calls on health care providers to become more aware of how exposure to environmental chemicals may impact the reproductive health of vulnerable populations.

Georgia State Research Finds Early Life Racial Discrimination Linked to Depression, Accelerated Aging for African Americans

Georgia State Research Finds Early Life Racial Discrimination Linked to Depression, Accelerated Aging for African Americans

Early life stress from racial discrimination puts African Americans at greater risk for accelerated aging, a marker for premature development of serious health problems and perhaps a shorter life expectancy, according to a study led by a Georgia State University psychology researcher.

Nationwide Study Shows Disparities in COVID-19 Infection for Black and Hispanic People

Nationwide Study Shows Disparities in COVID-19 Infection for Black and Hispanic People

Findings highlight need for anti-outbreak strategies tailored to minority communities

A study of around 5.8 million people who receive care from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) found that Black and Hispanic people were substantially more likely than their White counterparts to test positive for COVID-19, although no differences in 30-day mortality were observed between these groups.

Minorities Made Up 78% of US COVID-19 Pediatric Deaths: Study

Minorities Made Up 78% of US COVID-19 Pediatric Deaths: Study

Racial minorities accounted for 78 percent of COVID-19 deaths under the age of 21 in the United States between February and July . . .

Out of 121 deaths among under-21s, 45 percent were among Hispanics, 29 percent among blacks and four percent among American Indians or Alaskan Natives, according to the study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Stroke Risk Factors on the Rise in Native-Americans

Stroke Risk Factors on the Rise in Native-Americans

Stroke risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and smoking are common and on the rise among Native Americans with clot-caused stroke, according to preliminary research to be presented in Honolulu at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference . . .

It has been previously reported that Native Americans have a higher incidence of stroke than other racial groups in the United States. In this study, researchers used . . .

Diagnosing and Treating Systemic Racism

Diagnosing and Treating Systemic Racism

For physicians, the words “I can’t breathe” are a primal cry for help. As many physicians have left their comfort zones to care for patients with Covid-19–associated respiratory failure, the role of the medical profession in addressing this life-defining need has rarely been clearer. But as George Floyd’s repeated cry of “I can’t breathe” while he was being murdered by a Minneapolis police officer has resounded through the country, the physician’s role . . .

Many Black and Asian Americans Say They Have Experienced Discrimination Amid the COVID-19 Outbreak

Many Black and Asian Americans Say They Have Experienced Discrimination Amid the COVID-19 Outbreak

About four-in-ten U.S. adults say it has become more common for people to express racist views toward Asians since the pandemic began

The coronavirus outbreak continues to have far-reaching health and economic consequences for the American public. But for many, especially Black and Asian Americans, the effects extend beyond medical and financial concerns.

Police Killings and Black Mental Health

Police Killings and Black Mental Health

All George Floyd and Eric Garner wanted is to breathe, the most basic function of human life.

Suffocating with a Minneapolis police officer’s knee rammed into his neck, Floyd cried out, “I CAN’T BREATHE!” The officer, without compassion or remorse, kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Floyd died around an hour later.

Struggling for air with a NYPD officer’s arm wrapped around his throat, Garner pleaded, “I CAN’T BREATHE!” He too died within an hour.

Walter Scott . . .

After the Game Is Over

After the Game Is Over

A career in professional football may yield an array of health benefits . . . NFL players engage in vigorous training, tend to be more educated than other men in the U.S. and have higher median incomes than most fellow Americans — all factors associated with better overall health.

But new research . . . suggests that even these advantages may not be enough to neutralize persistent gaps in health outcomes among Black, white, and players of other racial backgrounds.

Racial, Socioeconomic Disparities Fuel Increased Infant Mortality Rates in California

Racial, Socioeconomic Disparities Fuel Increased Infant Mortality Rates in California

While infant mortality rates (IMR) decreased overall from 2007 to 2015 in California, disparities in infant death rates have increased in some groups, including among obese mothers, those who smoke and African American women, according to a new study published in PLOS One.

The goal of this study was to better clarify the maternal and infant predictors of infant deaths in California. The study analyzed data . . .

Heart Disease Risk Profiles Differ Widely Among African-Americans, Blacks from the Caribbean and Africa

Heart Disease Risk Profiles Differ Widely Among African-Americans, Blacks from the Caribbean and Africa

African immigrants have significantly lower rates of risk factors for heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular diseases compared to blacks from the Caribbean and African Americans, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology and Prevention | Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Scientific Sessions 2020.

Black Americans experience more heart attacks . . .

Why Are Minorities Disproportionately Impacted by Dementia?

Why Are Minorities Disproportionately Impacted by Dementia?

Addressing racial and ethnic disparities in dementia.

"That's what's wrong with you people, you don't want help, you just want to complain."

Jarring, insensitive words no patient–or person–should ever have to hear from anyone, let alone from your neurologist. And moreover, when you’re feeling especially vulnerable because you were told, just minutes before, that you have dementia. . . .

Was it ageism? Racism? . . .

16,000 George Floyds

16,000 George Floyds

“I can’t breathe.”

Eric Garner, July 17, 2014, as he was being strangled to death by New York City police, for selling single cigarettes on a street corner in Staten Island . . .

“I can’t breathe.”

Elijah McClain, August 24, 2019, as he was being strangled by Aurora, Colorado police, for no reason, resulting in cardiac arrest in the ambulance and death days later

“I can’t breathe.”

George Floyd, May 25, 2020, as he was strangled to death by Minneapolis, Minnesota police, for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill . . .

Dr. Melvin Konner, PhD, MD


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