Latinos Underrate Adult Vaccines


Adult illnesses that can be prevented by vaccinations cost society billions of dollars each year in treatment, hospitalizations and lost productivity. And sadly, there is also the incalculable cost of losing lives. Vaccinations are not just for kids. They are important for adults too; they prevent adults from getting certain diseases and they help stop the spread of illness. Every adult should check with a health care provider to find out which vaccines, in addition to the flu, that they should get.

Centers for Disease Control data show that 28.7 percent of adults aged 65+ have never had a pneumonia vaccination. When you look at rates of Hispanic adults, that number jumps to nearly 38 percent.

Thousands of adults in the U.S. die every year from vaccine-preventable diseases like pneumonia. I felt guilty that I did not get a chance to share this important information about adult vaccination with my brother. Today, I’ve turned this tragedy into advocacy. In Jerry’s name, I developed a bilingual training program for our “promotores” and community health workers in order to raise awareness — especially in our Latino population. Sadly, Latino adults are among the most under-vaccinated segments of the U.S. population.

According to the CDC, rates of adult vaccination remain “well below” the target levels of 90 percent. Here are some facts to consider:

  • Only about 33 percent of Latino/Hispanic adults in the United States got flu shots in 2015 — down 0.2 percentage points from 2014 and more than 15 percentage points lower than vaccination rates in the white community. It was the only race/ethnicity to see a decline and the lowest vaccination rate of any race/ethnicity.
  • This was even more pronounced in young adults aged 19-49; only 25.1 percent of young Latino/Hispanic adults got the flu shot in 2015 — down nearly two percentage points from 2014 and the lowest of any race/ethnicity. Whites in the same age group had rates of 34.6 percent, and African Americans had rates of 29.1 percent.
  • Only 64.1 percent of older Latino/Hispanic adults (65 and older) got flu shots in 2015, the lowest of any race/ethnicity and more than 10 percentage points lower than whites.
  • For adults living with chronic diseases like asthma, HIV/AIDS, COPD, liver, kidney or heart disease, the risks of being under-vaccinated are even greater. As many as one-third of adults living with chronic illnesses are at greater risk of contracting the potentially deadly pneumococcal disease.
  • People like Jerry, whose immune systems are compromised because of cancer or other non-communicable diseases, should absolutely be vaccinated against those diseases for which they are at risk.

Source: TribTalk


Article:  "An Investigation into Medical Students' English Language Needs."



Due to the acceptance of English in twentieth century as international language of science and medicine, a considerable body of medical research and literature has been produced in English. This dominance of English in medical accounts paves the way for emergence of a new ESP branch (English for Specific Purposes) as EMP (English for Medical Purposes).

The basic insight into this trend is to offer course design, content and materials by being responsive to target language learners' own agenda. Therefore, it is necessary to find out first what is specifically appropriate, available and applicable for the target situation and target language learners in terms of their needs. In discovering their needs, needs analysis is regarded as an integral part of decision making processes in EMP.

Without conducting a needs analysis process, using a medical English course book might not be enough for a medical student studying in an EFL (English as a Foreign Language) context like Turkey since most of the medical English course books in use are mostly addressing the needs of students in an ESL (English as a Second Language) context. Accordingly, as a part of a needs analysis process, this study aims to investigate academic English language needs of first year medical students who are attending advanced English course at the Faculty of Medicine at Karadeniz Technical University.

The data was collected via a structured questionnaire with 47 items. It covers five different parts focusing on medical students' purposes of learning English, significance of learning English, their preference of learning environment, language learning needs of major language skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening), their preference of assessment type. The questionnaire was administered to 169 students at the Faculty of Medicine at Karadeniz Technical University. Descriptive statistics was employed in order to analyze the data.

Source:  An Investigation into Medical Students' English Language Needs.

The IELTS and Its Flaws to Prepare Doctors


An article published in The Guardian by Ross Write describes some flaws in the International English Language Testing System when it comes to preparing overseas doctors for different dialects and colloquialisms, or a busy A&E. 

"The International English Language Testing System (Ielts) is used as a means of ensuring fitness to practice for all overseas doctors (...) but as I help prepare a group of overseas recruits as part of an NHS induction programme, I can’t help wondering to what extent the Ielts is actually fit for purpose. I listen while my trainees introduce themselves and I’m immediately struck by their grasp of the English language. Having scored the requisite Ielts score of 7.5, they all appear to possess the language skills necessary to function effectively in an English-speaking environment. However, as the course progresses, my doubts about the suitability of the Ielts as a means of benchmarking proficiency in any high-stress environment, least of all that of a UK hospital, are confirmed", states Wright.

Read Full Article HERE.

Source: The Gardian

The Prevalence of Alzheimer's Disease in Mexican-Americans


Researchers at the UNT Health Science Center received a $12 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study why Mexican-Americans develop cognitive loss earlier than other groups.

"The Latino population, in general, appears to be at an increased risk for Alzheimer's disease," says neuropsychologist and researcher Dr. Sid O'Bryant, PhD. "We have found Mexican-Americans appear to develop memory loss average of about a decade younger."

What Dr. O'Bryant wants to know is why.

"We just got funded through the National Institutes of Health, one of the of the largest studies of Mexican-American brain aging in the history of the United States," he says.

What's happening here could be groundbreaking. The hope is that this research could change the way we both diagnose and treat Alzheimer's.

The plan is to study the blood, brains and behavior of 1,000 Mexican-Americans from North Texas and 1,000 non-Hispanic whites over the course of the next two decades. They'll look at how biology plays a role in the disease, and whether a simple blood test Dr. O'Bryant has created could help in disease prediction.

Study participants only have to check in once every two years. Having had his own grandmother succumb to Alzheimer's Disease, O'Bryant is devoted to changing the way we diagnose and treat the disease.

Source: WFAA

Latinos and Alzheimer's Disease


Alzheimer’s are expected to increase as the senior population continues to grow nationally. Latinos are 50 percent more likely to develop the disease than their white counterparts, researchers from the University of Southern California say. Between 2012 and 2060, the number of Latinos in the United States living with Alzheimer’s disease is projected to increase 832 percent — from 379,000 to more than 3.5 million, this research indicates.

Despite this, experts say Latinos living with Alzheimer's are less likely to seek formal treatment for it, often because of financial barriers, including not having health insurance. (Nearly 20 percent of Latinos in Chicago do not.) Language and cultural barriers also create challenges in accessing care, experts note.

Researchers do not fully understand why older Latino and black adults are at increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Genetics, level of education, coincidence of chronic disease, like diabetes, and stress are all suspected factors, as is an inactive lifestyle and poor nutrition.

Source: Chicago Tribune