Posts tagged smoking
U.S. Obesity leveled off since last year, the first time since 1998 that obesity rates have not worsened, according to the new United Health Foundation’s 2013 America’s Health Rankings, an annual comprehensive assessment of the nation’s health on a state-by state basis.
Here are the key nationwide health trends from last year to this year:
- Smoking rates dropped from 21.2% of the adult population to 19.6%.
- Physical inactivity dropped from 26.2% of the adult population to 22.9%.
- Obesity remained about the same, about 27% of the adult population.
At the state level, Hawaii has taken the title of healthiest state. The state scored well along most measures particularly for having low rates of uninsured individuals, high rates of childhood immunization, and low rates of obesity, smoking and preventable hospitalizations.
Vermont, last year’s reported No. 1 state, is ranked second this year and has ranked among the top five states for the last decade. Minnesota is third, followed by Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
Mississippi ranks 50th this year, and Arkansas (49), Louisiana (48), Alabama (47) and West Virginia (46) complete the list of the five least healthy states.
“I am encouraged by the progress we’ve made this year and am hopeful that the leveling off we see in America’s obesity is a sign of further improvement to come,” said Dr. Reed Tuckson, external senior medical adviser to United Health Foundation, in a statement. “We should certainly celebrate these gains. They encourage us to continue to identify and effectively implement best practices in these areas and in addressing diabetes, heart disease and other chronic health conditions that compromise Americans’ health and vitality.”
Go here to learn more about the rankings and its tools identify health opportunities in communities as well as multi-stakeholder, multi-disciplinary approaches to address those opportunities.
Read about the rankings in Spanish here.
U.S. adults rate “not enough exercise” at the top of the list of top health problems for children in their communities, according to the sixth annual survey of top health concerns conducted by the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health.
Other top overall health concerns include childhood obesity, smoking, drug abuse and bullying.
Hispanic adults were more likely to rate childhood obesity first, followed by “not enough exercise.” Hispanics also rated drug abuse higher than smoking and tobacco use.
Hispanic and black adults both identified sexually transmitted infections as a greater concern for kids in their communities than did white adults.
Despite these differences, Hispanic, black and white adults agreed that “not enough exercise” and obesity are two of the top three most pressing health concerns for kids in their communities. Other concerns that made the top 10 in all three groups included drug abuse, smoking and tobacco use, bullying, and teen pregnancy.
Liver cancer rates among South Texas Latinos are higher than in other U.S. Latinos, as are their rates of obesity and diabetes—and the relationships between these ailments are being mapped by researchers at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, the team behind SaludToday.
In a study published April 18, 2012, in the journal PLoS ONE, the researchers looked at overall liver cancer rates among U.S. Latinos and compared this to a Texas sample and a South Texas subset from 1995-2006.
They also compared prevalence among Latinos of lifestyle-associated factors that contribute to liver cancer: heavy alcohol use, smoking, obesity and diabetes.
They found that from 1995 to 2006, annual age-adjusted liver cancer incidence increased among all populations – but was highest in South Texas Latinos over the entire period. The increase among South Texas Latinos was also significantly greater than all Texas Latinos, who in turn had significantly higher levels of liver cancer than the U.S. national sample.
While obesity and diabetes increased among all three groups, obesity rates were higher in Texas Latinos and highest in South Texas Latinos. Neither heavy alcohol consumption nor cigarette smoking increased.
“Regarding risk factors, we found remarkably similar and significantly increasing rates of obesity and diabetes in our study groups, with higher obesity prevalence in Texas and particularly South Texas Latinos,” said Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, the study’s lead author and director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the Health Science Center.
The study warrants further exploration if there is a relationship between diabetes, obesity and liver cancer so that researchers can look at the problem from the standpoint of prevention, said Ramirez, who also is a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics in the Health Science Center’s School of Medicine and associate director of health disparities at the Health Science Center’s Cancer Therapy & Research Center.
“Both obesity and diabetes are preventable and/or treatable,” she said, “so reducing obesity and diabetes may be an important for lowering Latinos’ risk for liver cancer, too.”
A few days ago a large group of minority health coalitions, doctors and elected officials celebrated the third anniversary of Houston’s successful smoking ban urging Houstonians “to see their doctors and put down their cigarettes for good.”
“Smoke Free for 3,” a campaign lead by the Hispanic Health Coalition, Asian American Health Coalition, African American Health Coalition, Native American Health Coalition, and Houston Communities for Safe Indoor Air (HCSIA), recognized the City of Houston’s leadership and success in creating more smoke free workplaces and public spaces effective Sept. 1, 2007.
However, despite the success in public policies, smoking continues to be a significant personal health issue for many Houstonians, particularly for minority communities.
According to the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) of adults ages 18 and older 32.4% of American Indians currently smoke, compared to 22.0% of Whites, 21.3% of African-Americans, 15.8% of Hispanics, and 9.9% of Asian-Americans. About 3.2 million Texans are smokers.
Latinos who are interested in quitting smoking should call 1-877-YES-QUIT and check out the bilingual Buena Vida health magazine, developed by the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, the team behind SaludToday. The magazine tells the stories of five Latinos and why and how they quit smoking.
The IHPR also conducted a needs assessment and GIS analysis of establishments that contributed to the adoption of San Antonio’s new smoke-free ordinance last month that goes into effect Aug. 19, 2011.
San Antonio had been considered the last major Texas city without a comprehensive smoke-free ordinance.
Get all the key facts on Latino smoking from the American Lung Association.
And if you’re a Latino who is thinking about quitting smoking, be sure to check out the Buena Vida health magazine in English or Spanish that tells the stories of five Latinos and how they kicked the habit and what it meant for their lives. The Institute for Health Promotion Research at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, the team behind Salud Today, produced the magazine and other tobacco prevention materials.
There is good news: The Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR), the team behind SaludToday, has developed ¡Buena Vida! A Guide to Help You Quit Smoking. The booklet offers binlingual info, tools and tips for quitting smoking, and tells the stories of Latinos who have quit, like Estefanía Villareal (at right).
Read the booklet in English.
Read the booklet in Spanish.
Find out more about the IHPR’s materials to help Latinos quit smoking. Call 877-YES-QUIT in Texas for specific, personalized help to quit smoking.
Cigarette Smoke Jolts Hundreds of Genes (from San Antonio Study of Mainly Mexican-American Population)0
A new study shows lighting up a cigarette changes a person’s gene activity across the body, a possible clue as to why smoking affects overall health—from heart disease to combating infections, LiveScience reports.
A research team from Australia and San Antonio, Texas, analyzed white blood cell samples of 1,240 mainly Mexican-American people, ages 16-94, who were participating in the San Antonio Family Heart Study.
They found that the 297 self-identified smokers in the group were more likely to have unusual patterns of “gene expression” related to tumor development, inflammation, virus elimination, cell death and more. A gene is expressed when it codes for a protein that then instructs, or kick-starts, a process in the body.
The study found cigarette smoke could alter the level of expression of 323 genes.
“On some levels, we were surprised by the extent of the influence exposure to cigarette smoke had on gene expression, especially considering we used such a simple measure of smoke exposure: smoker or non-smoker,” lead author Jac Charlesworth, a research fellow at the Menzies Research Institute Tasmania in Australia, told LiveScience.
On the other hand, doctors have long known that smoking worsens cancer risk overall, depresses immune systems and causes other problems.
Cigarette smoke contains more than 4,000 chemical compounds, some of them known carcinogens.
The researchers were able to find subjects by testing samples from people in an existing study of Mexican-American families. It’s likely that smoking would affect other ethnic groups the same way, the researchers wrote, but they could not be sure unless other ethnic groups were involved in the study.
If San Antonio ends up prohibiting smoking in indoor workplaces, its restaurants and bars are not likely to lose patrons to the few and geographically separated establishments outside the city limits that do allow smoking, according to a new analysis by the Institute for Health Promotion Research at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, the team behind SaludToday.
The analysis identified and mapped the 165 licensed-to-serve alcohol establishments in 30 incorporated towns outside San Antonio, but within Bexar County.
The vast majority (117) of those establishments already are smoke-free.
The remaining 48 that do allow smoking are fairly geographically separated from each other and, even if weighed as a whole, don’t have the capacity to sustain an influx of smoking customers if San Antonio prohibits smoking in its bars and restaurants, an action that polls show would be supported by two-thirds of registered voters.
“Our analysis and data show that a comprehensive smoking ordinance would not have a detrimental effect on the city of San Antonio’s bar and restaurant industry,” said lead author Courtney A. Denton, research associate with the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR), whose researchers authored the report on behalf of the San Antonio Tobacco Prevention and Control Coalition. “We believe the ordinance would actually benefit the industry, help smokers kick the habit and improve air quality.”
The report comes on the heels of a press conference May 7 in which San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro said he would push for a strong anti-smoking ordinance.
For World No Tobacco Day, Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez reflected on the effects of smoking and the opportunities to quit smoking, especially among Latinos.
Dr. Ramirez, director of SaludToday and the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio. noted that for every one person that dies from a tobacco-related cause, there are 20 more people who are suffering with at least one serious illness from smoking, such as certain cancers, heart attacks, strokes, cataracts and skin wrinkling.
Smoking is the No. 1 cancer killer of Hispanics nationally.
Here is a little bit from Dr. Ramirez’ op-ed article in LatinaLista:
If you smoke, just imagine some of the benefits you’d immediately achieve by quitting.
You’d have more money to spend. You’d have whiter teeth, fresher breath and fewer coughs. You’d build pride in friends and family members, and be a role model for others. You’d get energized and feel healthier. And you’d stop exposing others to harmful secondhand smoke while lowering your own risk of cancer, heart attacks, strokes and early death.
Just ask Vicente Escobedo, who shared his story at a new web site for Latino health, SaludToday. Vicente, an early 20s father of two daughters, is a resource specialist for a local fatherhood campaign, where he helps mentor young fathers to make healthy, strong families. Yet he realized his smoking wasn’t setting a good example for young fathers, or his own daughters.
He quit smoking after his daughter told him, “Daddy, you smell ugly – you smell like smoke.” He said “I have to take care of my family. I have to worry about myself in the future. Am I gonna be healthy enough to take care of them?” Now he spends extra money on his family, and he has more energy to run with his girls.
You can be like Vicente and quit, too. And you don’t have to do it alone.
Help exists. Talk to your doctor. Call the American Cancer Society’s bilingual toll-free quit line, 1-877-YES-QUIT (1-877-937-7848).
Make this World No Tobacco Day a day to remember.