Tag Archives: health disparities

From Other Blogs: Stopping type 2 diabetes, understanding gynecologic cancers, ending health disparities & more

A collection of health and environmental posts from other governmental blogs.

Putting a stop to type 2 diabetes

Did you know that diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States? It is estimated that by the year 2020, 50 percent of Americans will either have diabetes or be pre-diabetic, but there is a way to prevent this.  — From Flourish, Palmetto Health’s blog

Let’s Help Women Understand: What We Need to Know About Gynecologic Cancers

Once upon a time, women were told to get a Pap test every year. And most of us did, even though it wasn’t always clear why we were being tested. We just did what we were told and thought it was a surefire way to stay healthy. But times and recommendations have changed about what test to have, how often to have it, and the reason to have it. — From the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) The Topic Is Cancer blog

Mission Possible: A Year in Review

As a long-time scientist and physician, I’ve treated patients in a range of environments – from U.S. cities and military bases, to sub-Saharan Africa and Haiti in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in 2010. Throughout those experiences, I saw firsthand the impact that health disparities could have on health outcomes. That’s why – even when treating single patients – it was important to always consider the social determinants of that individual’s health.

The inequity in health that we see across the world today remains one of the greatest social injustices of our time. Access to healthcare and behaviors is greatly influenced by social factors and environment, including housing, transportation, and education. As the nation’s leading public health agency, CDC plays a crucial role in promoting the practice of health equity, and I’m committed to seeing that CDC puts science into action to confront the gaps in health and the social determinants behind those inequities. — From the CDC’s Conversations in Equity blog

New HRSA Program Will Help Clinicians and Patients in the Fight Against Opioid Addiction

On December 27, 2018 HRSA launched a program that is critical to HHS’ response to the opioid crisis. This National Health Service Corps Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Progam will support the HHS Five-Point Opioid Strategy by increasing patient access to high-quality substance use disorder preventive, treatment, and recovery services. — From the US Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) blog

Superfood of the Month: Cauliflower

Cauliflower is considered one of the healthiest foods on Earth and with good reason. It has a rich supply of health-promoting phytochemicals, a high level of anti-inflammatory compounds, and the ability to ward off cancer, heart disease, brain disease and weight gain. There isn’t much cauliflower can’t do. — From Lexington Medical Center’s official blog

From Other Blogs: Physical activity, disaster recovery, cardiovascular disease, health disparities & more

A collection of health and environmental posts from other governmental blogs.

Keep moving

Do you feel exhausted at the end of the day? How about your kids? Do they just want to flop in front of the TV? Physical activity helps you feel better right away, no matter what kind you choose. Daily physical activity can give you more energy and improve your sleep and focus. Staying active over time also helps you keep a healthy weight. It protects you from heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and osteoporosis (weak bones).

How much activity do kids need? — From Flourish, Palmetto Health’s blog

Disaster Recovery: USDA Answering the Call

In early December, I gathered with a group of neighbors in a Puerto Rican community to watch work begin on a USDA project to protect a nearby bridge. Minute-by-minute, the sound of rumbling equipment grew louder as the excavators emerged from behind houses, rolled along the debris-covered horizon and worked along the river’s edge. I was glad to be able to see first-hand USDA’s disaster recovery work after Hurricane Maria, including this emergency watershed protection project to aid a southern Puerto Rico community. — From the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) blog

Saving a Million Hearts: One Heart at a Time!

Cardiovascular disease (CVD), principally ischemic heart disease and stroke, remains the leading cause of U.S. deaths for men and women and all races and ethnicities in spite of major progress in its prevention and treatment. CVD is also the greatest contributor to racial disparities in life expectancy. In 2012, 120 public and private partners and 20 federal agencies launched the Million Hearts®initiative to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. The initiative sought to implement proven, effective, and inexpensive interventions in both clinical and community settings. In healthcare, the initiative helped improve management of the ABCS (aspirin use for high risk patients, blood pressure control, cholesterol management, and smoking cessation). — From the CDC’s Genomics and Health Impact Blog

Mission Possible: Addressing Health Disparities in Heart Disease and Stroke Outcomes

As the leading killer of Americans, heart disease and its associated behavioral causes are distributed throughout our country. Even so, some groups of people are more affected than others. Poverty and lack of education have long been associated with poorer health status and heart disease is no exception, occurring more frequently among people with lower incomes and less education. Racial and ethnic minorities, including African Americans and American Indians, whose histories in the United States are marked by severe trauma such as slavery, genocide, lack of human rights and loss of ancestral lands, and who today are often disadvantaged in terms of income and education, also experience higher rates of heart disease. — The Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) Conversations In Equity blog

Healthy Changes in the Child and Adult Care Food Program

USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) works to combat hunger by bringing nutritious and wholesome foods to tables for children in child care centers, homes, and afterschool programs as well as adults in day care. More than 4.2 million children and 130,000 adults receive nutritious meals and snacks each day through CACFP. As an added benefit, these meals and snacks often reflect regional and local food preferences. — From the USDA blog

DHEC in the News: Flu shots, women’s health disparities, ‘Healthy Churches’ conference

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

Put flu shot on the list of musts

While unusual health threats of all types make headlines, the public should not fail to be proactive against a common illness that contributes to the deaths of 3,000 to 50,000 individuals every year depending on the severity of the season.

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. The flu can cause mild to severe illness and can be deadly — especially to vulnerable people, including the very young, the elderly and those with certain chronic health conditions. Symptoms can include a sudden onset of fever, dry cough, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, sore throat, and nasal congestion or stuffiness.

OnPoint on WACH Fox: Health disparities and SC women

COLUMBIA, SC (WACH) – This week on OnPoint on WACH Fox we examine health disparities and women in South Carolina.

The state Department of Health and Environmental Control offers something called the Best Chance Network and it is pulling women out of the shadows to help save lives.

‘Healthy Churches’ national conference planned for Hilton Head to address health disparities

Pernessa Seele, who grew up in Lincolnville, found herself a long way from the Lowcountry at the height of the AIDS crisis.

An immunologist by training, Seele worked with HIV/AIDS patients in New York City in the 1980s and couldn’t help but wonder why churches weren’t doing more to educate their congregations about the growing epidemic. …

In November, Seele will bring Balm in Gilead’s national Healthy Churches conference to Hilton Head.

South Carolina working to improve minority health

 By Jade N. Durham, MPH
CLAS / Cultural Competence Consultant

SC DHEC – Office of Minority Health

Lots of variables go into determining the quality of health a person enjoys —where they live, work and play, their income, their education, their place of birth. And let’s not forget the choices they make about what they eat and whether they exercise or see a doctor regularly.

All those things are linked to health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities in our state and across America. It is critical that we address inequities in health and health care, which is why the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has placed special emphasis on that area. It’s also why each April is designated as National Minority Health Month.

DHEC’s Office of Minority Health, established in June 1990, is charged with improving the health of racial and ethnic minority populations in South Carolina in an effort to achieve health equity. The office provides technical assistance and consultation to internal and external partners across the state to assist in developing policies and programs aimed at eliminating health disparities.

South Carolina is making progress

While South Carolina still has work to do, it has made some significant strides in improving minority health in a number of areas. Just consider some of the improvements made in the health of African-Americans, the state’s largest minority population. From 1999 to 2014:

  • Cancer death rates among African-American men fell 34 percent.
  • Breast cancer death rates among African-American women fell nearly 21 percent.
  • HIV death rates among African-Americans fell 54 percent.
  • Reported HIV cases among African-American women fell nearly 63 percent.
  • Heart disease death rates for African-American men decreased 32 percent and heart disease death rates among African-American women dropped 37 percent.
  • The prevalence of diabetes in African-American women decreased 47 percent.
  • Infant mortality trends are decreasing and the gap between African-Americans and whites has narrowed.

Still more work to be done

Despite our state’s noteworthy progress in narrowing health disparity gaps for several health concerns, many challenges remain. While stroke, heart disease and diabetes have been declining statewide and nationally, death and illness among African-Americans continue to be cause for concern.

  • The gap in heart disease mortality between African-Americans and whites has been persistent over time. Heart disease death rates were higher among African-American males followed by white males, then African-American females and lastly white females.
  • Approximately one in six African-American adults has diabetes, compared to one in nine white adults.
  • In 2014, the age-adjusted HIV death rate for African-American males is almost 9 times higher than the rate for white males.
  • There are more African Americans living with HIV than whites in South Carolina.

Gaps in the health status and well-being of various communities affect all Americans, and improving the health of all communities has a number of benefits:

  • It is a matter of life and death for those who suffer with chronic and other diseases.
  • It reduces health care costs, which translates into a stronger economy and a more productive, competitive America.
  • It builds a stronger foundation for our nation’s increasingly diverse populations to prosper for generations to come.

DHEC, the Office of Minority Health and various other public and private partners continue to collaborate to improve these outcomes.

This month, the Office of Minority Health has been shining a light on National Minority Health Month. On April 1, it collaborated with the University of South Carolina Institute for Partnerships to Eliminate Health Disparities to sponsor the 2016 Clyburn Health Disparities Lecture; Dr. Camara P. Jones was the keynote speaker. On April 27, the Office, in collaboration with the Office of Staff Training and Development, held a professional development workshop for DHEC staff focusing on the topics of health equity, health disparities and diversity.

For more information on National Minority Health Month and how you can get involved, visit www.minorityhealth.hhs.gov/NMHM16.