Health Profile of Nebraska’s Latino Population – Report Available

Health Profile coverThe University of Nebraska Medical Center’s (UNMC) Center for Reducing Health Disparities together with the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s (UNO) Office of Latino and Latin American Studies (OLLAS), have released a report and policy brief describing the serious health problems facing the growing Latino and immigrant populations in Nebraska and Iowa, particularly the Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area.

The Health Profile Report focuses on the overall health disparities facing the Latino population, which grew by nearly 93 percent between 2000 and 2010 in Nebraska.  Below are some of the highlights of the report.

Nebraska Latino Health Status Highlights:

  • Over 35% of Hispanic/Latino adults aged 18 to 64 years old do not have a personal physician.
  • One quarter of Hispanics/Latinos rated their health status as either “fair” or “poor”.16
  • Almost one third of the Hispanic/Latino population is uninsured.[1]
  • Almost one quarter of Latinas received inadequate prenatal care.[2]
  • Close to 10% of Hispanic/Latino adults surveyed through the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System from 2006 to 2010 had more than 10 days in the past month where they mentally did not feel well.18  Almost a quarter of Latino youth felt sad and hopeless during the past year.[3]  About 14% of Hispanics/Latinos report that they never get any emotional support.[4]
  • Obesity, measured by a level of BMI at 30 or above, was higher for Hispanics/Latinos than for other groups.
  • More than one-third of Hispanics/Latinos have no exercise outside of work. [5]
  • The overall STD rate for Hispanics/Latinos was nearly three times the rate for Whites.[6]  Also, Latinos bear a disproportionate burden of the HIV epidemic, with a mortality rate that was 3 times that of Whites.
  • The teen birth rate for Latina girls was 4.9 times the rate of White girls.
  • Hispanic/Latino students were more likely to smoke cigarettes on one or more of the past 30 days than their White peers.[7]

Given these complex challenges, the solutions to addressing health disparities among Hispanics/Latinos require comprehensive, inter-sectoral, multi-level, community-wide interventions and policy changes that address not only health, but also the social determinants of health – the circumstances in which people are born, grow up, live, work, and age, as well as the healthcare systems in place to deal with illness.[12]  Policies across sectors such as education, economic development, housing, immigration, public safety, and healthcare can directly or indirectly impact disparate populations, including Latinos.  Efforts to revitalize poor neighborhoods, improve the quality of schools and access to public services, guarantee access to healthy foods, and ensure culturally-competent community services and equitable policies that link Latinos to economic opportunities are promising strategies that can significantly improve the health of Latino communities in Nebraska and across the country.  Indeed, ending racial and ethnic health disparities is a major challenge—but one that can be met if the research, public health practices, education and training, government, outreach, and service sectors work together


[1] U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 American Community Survey.

[2] Nebraska Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2006-2010.

[3] Nebraska Youth Risk Behavior Survey. 2010 Survey Results.  Retrieved on December 19, 2012 from http://www.education.ne.gov/HIV/2010_YRBS-Results/Data/2011/2010NEH%20Detail%20Tables.pdf.

[4] Nebraska Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2006-2010.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Nebraska DHHS STD program, 2006-2010.

[7] Nebraska Youth Behavioral Risk Factor Survey, 2011.

[8] Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Proyecto HEAL.

[9] Escarce JJ, Morales LS, Rumbaut RG. The Health Status and Health Behaviors of Hispanics. In: National Research Council (US) Panel on Hispanics in the United States; Tienda M, Mitchell F, editors. Hispanics and the Future of America. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2006. 9. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK19899.NCBI Bookshelf. A service of the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.  National Research Council (US) Panel on Hispanics in the United States; Tienda M, Mitchell F, editors. Hispanics and the Future of America. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2006.

[10] Ibid.

[11] United Way of the Midlands. (2003). Profile of Latino Youth.

[12] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Social Determinants of Health. Retrieved on January 9, 2013 from http://www.cdc.gov/socialdeterminants.

 

 

 

Big Tobacco in the LGBT Community

LGBT flagRecent data shows that 1 in 5 people smoke in the U.S. In the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community smoking rates are almost 70% higher than the general population, killing almost 30,000 LGBT persons every year. But yet, why is it that smoking is still a fad? A research marketing company named Winston Stuart Associates conducted a focus group study in Sacramento and San Francisco which documented why LGBT participants believed smoking prevalence to be high within their communities.  Here’s some of their findings:

  • There is more stress, and cigarettes are a great stress reliever.
  • LGBT people have been told “no” for a long time and smoking is a legal form of rebellion.
  • LGBT people go out at bars/clubs, and cigarettes fit in with the bar scene.

There is a lot to be said about the type of stressors we each go through day to day, but we never really experience what it would be like to outrightly be denied certain rights. Therefore,stressors would be much higher in a population that undergoes this type of scrutiny and discrimination. The warmth and welcome that a cigarette would have to someone that is seeking acceptance, would be a readily available release of the pressures one would experience.

The marketing that has been used by tobacco companies, have been very smart and decisive in the LGBT community. For example there is one ad from American Spirit cigarettes that reads: ”Free. to speak. to choose. to marry. to participate. to be. to disagree. to inhale. to believe. to love.  to live. it’s all good.”  This type of messaging pulls on emotions of the LGBT community to market their deadly product.

Learn more about tobacco control efforts in the LGBT community through our partner, the LGBT Network for Health Equity.

Big Tobacco is an industry that builds consumer loyalty through lies and deception.  Learn more about tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship at http://www.who.int/campaigns/no-tobacco-day/2013/brochure/en/index.html.

Join us in participating in the dialogue about World No Tobacco Day! Talk about it and Share it. Leave us a comment, Facebook us, or Tweet us @UNMCCRHD @MOTACOmaha using hashtag: #WNTD2013!

Rent Smoke Free

Rent-transDid you know that according to the Nebraska Clean Indoor Air Act smoking is not allowed inside of common areas and any general shared areas within rental buildings? Many people think that the policy only applies to business, like restaurants, where smoking is prohibited, but don’t realize that their apartment buildings common areas are also covered. Some common areas include hallways, laundry rooms, and lobbies.

Rent Smoke-Free is an important initiative that the Metro Omaha Tobacco Action Coalition (MOTAC) began about 5 years ago to increase the number of smoke-free housing options available. Douglas County Health Department (DCHD) has also joined the effort and has partnered with MOTAC to help support landlords and inform tenants on the benefits of renting smoke-free. There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke, and there is no way to stop secondhand smoke from traveling from one unit to another once someone starts smoking inside an apartment building. Reports from the Center for Disease Control show that children are especially vulnerable to the health effects of secondhand smoke because of their developing bodies and lungs, and children that are exposed to secondhand smoke are increasingly more susceptible to asthma, ear infections, decreased reading and math scores, and higher levels of behavioral problems.  Through MOTAC and DCHD efforts materials are provided to landlords and tenants, some of which include: window clings, manuals on going smoke-free and its benefits, cigarette receptacles for designated smoking areas as an alternative to smoking inside, and free no smoking signage.

What are your thoughts concerning renting smoke-free living? Does smoking in apartment buildings affect you?

Join us in participating in the dialogue about World No Tobacco Day! Talk about it and Share it. Leave us a comment, Facebook us, or Tweet us @UNMCCRHD @MOTACOmaha using hashtag: #WNTD2013!