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Friday Facts

Blog Posts tagged "Friday Facts"

After an eventful few weeks, Friday Facts is back! May is both Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and National High Blood Pressure Education Month, so today’s edition of Friday Facts will focus on the disparate rates of high blood pressure in California’s Asian subgroups.

As you can see from the chart, there are some dramatic variations in high blood pressure rates across the Asian ethnic subgroups. Japanese adults, for example, have the highest rate at 35.4%, which is higher than other populations, including Chinese (18.2%) and South Asian (8.2%) adults.

In attempts to understand and address these disparities between ethnic subgroups, researchers have found that physicians should consider the role culture plays when treating patients for high blood pressure and other chronic conditions.

“Our results suggest that susceptible populations like the Filipino and Japanese subgroups may warrant early and aggressive intervention in blood pressure reduction to help decrease cardiovascular risk,” said Dr. Powell Jose, Research Physician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute. “Physicians should attempt to better understand cultural differences and barriers that may influence diet and health behaviors in Asian-American subgroups. Nutrition and lifestyle counseling must be offered to these higher risk populations to help control hypertension in addition to medical therapy, when indicated.”

Welcome to Friday Facts! Each week we'll be taking a look at a specific chart from the Data & Resources section of our website. This week we're focusing on school safety in Los Angeles County.

We hope that our schools as safe places where children can learn without fear. For the most part, that’s the case. But inequities do exist, and in some communities, children of color are less likely to feel safe at their school than their White counterparts.

As you can see in today’s Friday Facts table, such inequities exist in Los Angeles County. Students of color are less likely to describe their school as “very safe” or “safe” than White students. African American (55.7%) and Latino (56.5%) students were the least likely to consider their school safe, especially compared to 71.4% of White students.

In our fact sheet, Spotlight on Children’s Health: Los Angeles County, we discussed the correlation between school safety and academic achievement. We noted that students who feel safe at school (87%) are much more likely to consider attending college compared to those who do not feel safe (69%). We also highlighted the connection between school safety and drop-out rates and how dropping out of school impacts a student’s future employment potential.

The same fact sheet included the following recommendations to increase school safety in the county:

Welcome to Friday Facts! Each week we'll be taking a look at a specific chart from the Data & Resources section of our website. This week we're focusing on access to parks in Fresno County.

One of the great things about California is that throughout the year, the weather is conducive to spending time outside. The abundance of parks, beaches, coastlines, and open spaces in the state allows many of its 37 million residents to be outside and be physically active. However, not everyone in the state has equal access to these open spaces for physical activity.

While often we look at disparities between race and ethnic groups, today’s Friday Facts looks more at disparities by region. In today’s table, you can see that just over half of the people in Fresno County live within walking distance (a half mile) of a park or other open space. For comparison, roughly 70% of Los Angeles County residents can easily walk to a park. In Alameda County, that number increases to over 90%.

Obviously population density in Los Angeles and the Bay Area has a lot to do with those higher rates, but the need for more accessible open spaces in the Central Valley is noteworthy. We discussed the importance of parks in our Landscape of Opportunity report:

Welcome to Friday Facts! Each week we'll be taking a look at a specific chart from the Data & Resources section of our website. This week we're focusing on food security in Alameda County.

We’ve talked before about how the economic prosperity of the Bay Area has not trickled down to all populations in the region, but in today’s Friday Facts we’ll see some striking disparities in the East Bay.

Food security, simply put, is the ability to afford enough food on a consistent basis. In today’s Friday Facts chart, we can see the rates of food insecurity, by race and ethnicity, among people in Alameda County living below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. Among this population, African Americans (57.4%) are more than twice as likely as Whites (26.9%) to be unable to afford food on a consistent basis, and Latinos (50.2%) are nearly twice as likely. These families often have to make the difficult choice between food and other basic needs.

In our brief, The Inextricable Connection between Food Insecurity and Diabetes, we examined the health impacts of food insecurity. We found that adults living with the most severe levels of food insecurity have more than twice the risk of developing diabetes as adults who are not food insecure.

While it might seem a paradox that food insecurity would lead to the consumption of more unhealthy foods, we found that that is often the case for a number of reasons, including:

Welcome to Friday Facts! Each week we'll be taking a look at a specific chart from the Data & Resources section of our website. This week we're focusing on preventable amputations as a result of diabetes in California.

Diabetes in California is reaching epidemic proportions. Over 2.3 million residents have been diagnosed with diabetes, with the majority suffering from type 2. Communities of color are disproportionately impacted by the disease, with Latinos and African Americans twice as likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and twice as likely to die from it.

Obesity is a risk factor for diabetes, and one of the main drivers of obesity is sugar-sweetened beverages. In our recent brief, Not So Sweet: Confronting the Health Crisis from Sugar-Sweetened Beverages in California, we found that a reduction in sugar-sweetened beverage intake of 10% statewide would potentially prevent 12,000 new cases of diabetes over the next 10 years, with communities of color seeing the greatest benefits.

Welcome to Friday Facts! Each week we'll be taking a look at a specific chart from the Data & Resources section of our website. This week we're focusing on the percentage of children, by race and ethnicity, living in poverty in Sacramento County.

One key determinant of health is family economics. In our 2012 report, The Landscape of Opportunity: Cultivating Health Equity in California, we discussed how living in poverty can impact a person’s health. For example, we found that, according to the California Health Interview Survey, the rates of self-reported poor or fair overall health are much higher for those who are living below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), which is currently $11,770 a year for an individual and $24,250 for a family of four.

For today’s Friday Facts, we’re taking a look at a particularly vulnerable population in a location best known as the seat of power for the state. As you can see from the table on our website, there are high rates of poverty among children in Sacramento County. In particular, children in communities of color experience high rates of poverty. For example, African American children (42.2%) are nearly three times as likely to live in poverty as their White counterparts (14.8%). Latino children (34.8%) and Asian children (22.2%) are also more likely to live in poverty than White children.

Welcome to Friday Facts! Each week we'll be taking a look at a specific chart from the Data & Resources section of our website. This week we're focusing on the infant mortality rate in California.

Today’s Friday Facts focuses on some sobering statistics about infant mortality in California. While the majority of births happen without incident, unfortunately, for every thousand babies born, there are a small number that don’t survive. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the causes of infant mortality include serious birth defects, premature births, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), and other injuries. 

While infant mortality impacts every community in California, there are some significant disparities. As you can see in our Friday Facts table, the infant mortality rate for African Americans (10.5 per 1,000) is nearly twice that of any other individual racial or ethnic group. This disparity is not unique for California, and according to the CDC, African Americans (13.3 per 1,000) have an infant mortality rate nearly twice the national average (6.8 per 1,000). The CDC also found that preterm-related causes were the driving factor behind this disparity, but African Americans also had higher rates of SIDS and congenital malformations compared to Whites.

Welcome to Friday Facts! Each week we'll be taking a look at a specific chart from the Data & Resources section of our website. This week we're focusing on students reporting depression-related feelings in Fresno County.

We have been talking a lot about mental health recently. If you’ve been following the blog this week, you will have seen that we hosted two town hall meetings, one in Fresno and the other in Oakland, to discuss the California Reducing Disparities Project’s (CRDP) draft Statewide Strategic Plan to Reduce Mental Health Disparities. These events have generated great discussion and a number of comments that we will be incorporating into the final plan after the ongoing public comment period ends on February 17th.

While we have talked so much about the strategic plan in this space, we haven’t focused on some of the actual mental health needs that it will address. So, for this Friday Facts, we are going to look at a chart representing the percentage of students experiencing depression-related feelings in Fresno County. As you can see, at least 1 in 4 students in each racial/ethnic group have reported experiencing depression-related feelings in the last year. There are some noticeable disparities, as Pacific Islanders (nearly half), Asians, and Latinos reported experiencing depression-related feelings at higher rates. But it is clear that this particular issue impacts all communities.

Welcome to Friday Facts! Each week we'll be taking a look at a specific chart from the Data & Resources section of our website. This week we're focusing on diabetes in California.

The rates of diabetes in California (and across the country for that matter) have been cause for concern for quite a while. According to a recent report from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), over 2.3 million Californians have been diagnosed with diabetes, with the vast majority (1.9 million) being Type 2. Diabetes is also the seventh leading cause of death in the state, with roughly 8,000 dying of complications each year.

As you can see in this chart from our Data & Resources section, the most recent California Health Interview Survey – conducted by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research – found that there are some noticeable disparities in diabetes rates. Native Americans (13.9%), African Americans (11.4%) and Latinos (9.9%) all have higher diabetes rates than Whites (7.2%).