April is National Minority Health Month
JPS Health Network recognizes the needs of a diverse patient population. The cultural backgrounds and life experiences of our patients can affect their understanding of their health needs as well as their access to care.
As we promote National Minority Health Month, we encourage our patients to become familiar with the challenges and risks specific to them and their families. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that:
- Infant mortality rates for African-Americans are more than twice that of whites.
- African-American women are more than twice as likely to die of cervical cancer than white women.
- American Indians and Alaska Natives appear to suffer disproportionately from depression and substance abuse.
- Hispanics in the U.S. are almost twice as likely to die of diabetes than non-Hispanic whites.
- Asians and Pacific Islanders living in the U.S. have more new cases of tuberculosis and hepatitis than whites.
Better health comes from knowledge and preventive care visits. Helping our patients understand their risks can improve their overall health. Together, we can lower health risks through simple lifestyle changes.
- Quit smoking.
- Be active – gardening, cleaning house, taking the stairs and walking the dog all count.
- Limit the amount of fat you eat, especially saturated fat (red meat, dairy products and some oils) and trans fat (watch for words “partially hydrogenated” and avoid deep-fried fast foods).
- Know your blood pressure. Normal is 120/80 or lower.
- Eat less salt. Most adults should have less than a teaspoon in a day.
- If you drink alcohol, keep it to one drink a day if you’re a woman, two if you’re a man.
- Research has found that healthier eating and weight loss, as little as 5% of total body weight, with 30 minutes of physical activity five times per week can delay or even prevent Type 2 diabetes.
- Enjoy your food, but avoid oversized portions.
- Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
- Switch to fat-free or 1% milk.
- Substitute sugary drinks for water.
JPS offers free education classes to help you manage a variety of health conditions. Visit www.jpslearnforlife.org to request a class.
Improving the health status of a diverse Tarrant County community is a top priority. Take charge of your health and talk to your doctor today about your potential health risks.