Friday, December 20th, 2013
A new study of African American men has linked hypertension, or high blood pressure, with whether the men grew up in single parent or dual parent households. More from The New York Times:
Researchers studied 515 black men older than 20 between 2001 and 2008. More than half of the men had high blood pressure and about one-third never lived with both parents.
After adjusting for age, family history of hypertension and other variables, they found that compared with men who never lived with both parents, men who had lived with both parents at any time in their lives had an average systolic blood pressure that was 4.9 millimeters of mercury lower. Among those who had lived with both parents for between one and 12 years, the average was 6.5 millimeters of mercury lower.
The authors acknowledge that living with both parents may be connected to higher socioeconomic status, which could influence blood pressure, and that the study can draw no conclusions about causality.
Still, the lead author, Debbie S. Barrington, a senior research fellow at the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, said it is a provocative finding. “The magnitude of the effect is very large,” she said, “even stronger than the effect of certain blood pressure medications.”
Image: Mother and child, via Shutterstock
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Wednesday, June 26th, 2013
A new study of U.S. school children has found that black and Hispanic children are half as likely as their white peers to receive a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). More from Reuters:
“We’re seeing that the disparities occur as early as kindergarten and then remain and continue until the end of eighth grade,” said Paul Morgan, who led the study at Pennsylvania State University in University Park.
“It’s a consistent pattern of what we’re interpreting as comparative underdiagnosis for minority populations,” he told Reuters Health.
That’s a concern, Morgan said, because it means some kids who could benefit from treatment – including medication or talk therapy – and extra help in the classroom may be missing out.
The researchers also found that compared to white children with the condition, minority kids who were diagnosed with ADHD were less likely to be prescribed medications, which include the stimulants Vyvanse, Ritalin and Concerta.
They tracked 15,100 kids from the kindergarten class of 1998-1999 using regular parent surveys.
Image: Latino child, via Shutterstock
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Friday, May 18th, 2012
The Census Bureau made official this week a hypothesis that has been floating around for years: white babies are no longer the majority race for children being born in the U.S. From The New York Times:
Non-Hispanic whites accounted for 49.6 percent of all births in the 12-month period that ended last July, according to Census Bureau data made public on Thursday, while minorities — including Hispanics, blacks, Asians and those of mixed race — reached 50.4 percent, representing a majority for the first time in the country’s history.
Such a turn has been long expected, but no one was certain when the moment would arrive — signaling a milestone for a nation whose government was founded by white Europeans and has wrestled mightily with issues of race, from the days of slavery, through a civil war, bitter civil rights battles and, most recently, highly charged debates over efforts to restrict immigration.
While over all, whites will remain a majority for some time, the fact that a younger generation is being born in which minorities are the majority has broad implications for the country’s economy, its political life and its identity. “This is an important tipping point,” said William H. Frey, the senior demographer at the Brookings Institution, describing the shift as a “transformation from a mostly white baby boomer culture to the more globalized multiethnic country that we are becoming.”
Image: Census form, via Shutterstock.
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