National Minority Health Month

This April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is celebrating National Minority Health Month! The theme for this month in 2016 is to accelerate health equity for the nation. Dr. J. Nadine Garcia from the Office of Minority Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says, “The purpose of National Minority Health Months is to raise awareness of the importance of health and well-being in minority populations but also to shine a light on the health disparities that continue to persist among minority populations.”

The CDC did a study on health risks and diseases among Hispanics in the United States found the Hispanic population had higher rates of diseases like diabetes and chronic liver disease than non-Hispanic whites. The CDC is encouraging all communities to provide the Hispanic community with resources on health risks and preventative services. The Missouri Osteoporosis and Arthritis Program (MAOP) is actively supporting our Hispanic community through two classes in Spanish: Camine con gusto and Tomando control de su salud. These classes provide helpful ways to prevent and help manage chronic diseases through physical activities and self-management tools.

The CDC also observed that between 2010 and 2012, 52.5 million US adults (22.7%) were told by a doctor that they have some form of arthritis. Out of these, 4 million were Hispanic adults, 5.9 million were non-Hispanic Blacks, and 1.2 million were non-Hispanic Asians. This means that about 21% of the adult population that is diagnosed with some form of arthritis is in a minority group, which is very high. Arthritis is physically debilitating and the CDC found that about 1 in 3 people with arthritis (31%) reported work limitations due to their chronic pain associated with arthritis. People of minority groups in America are at greater risk for chronic disease due to lower socioeconomic status. Promoting well-being is very important with goals of health promotion programs that seek to help people thrive and not just prevent them from getting sick.

While the CDC is focusing on minority health this month, it is also a month to bring everyone together to address the health disparities that still exist. Like the CDC, MAOP’s goal is to reach everyone within our community, which is why MAOP offers a variety of classes to help manage your health, whether it’s arthritis, chronic pain, diabetes, high blood pressure, or another chronic health problem. If you would like more information about MAOP’s classes, please visit our class page today!

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