Newspapers Cover Minority Health Studies on Depression, Prostate Cancer, Pulmonary Embolisms
Three newspapers recently published articles on studies on depression, prostate cancer and pulmonary embolisms that are related to minority health. Summaries of the coverage appear below.
- Depression: In the greater Boston area, 58% of middle-aged Puerto Rican women and 38% of middle-aged Puerto Rican men have been diagnosed with depression, according to a preliminary report released Monday, the Boston Globe reports. The report, which is part of an ongoing study of Puerto Rican health conducted by researchers at Tufts University and Northeastern University, is based on interviews and diagnostic tests of 1,000 Puerto Ricans between ages 45 and 75 who have lived in the U.S. for an average of 36 years and have median annual incomes of $10,200. Researchers said the high rate of depression is linked to the stress of poverty, social isolation, chronic disease and poor nutrition (Smith, Boston Globe, 12/5).
- Prostate cancer: Black men with prostate cancer are 4.8 times more likely to report having a brother diagnosed with prostate cancer and about four times more likely to report having a sister diagnosed with breast cancer than black men who did not have prostate cancer, according to a study published in the November issue of Urology, Health News Digest reports. For the study, lead author Jennifer Beebe-Dimmer, an assistant research scientist and lecturer in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, and colleagues at UM's Comprehensive Cancer Center, examined surveys of about 121 men with prostate cancer who answered questions about their family history of prostate cancer among men and breast cancer among women. Another 179 men without prostate cancer were also surveyed. The research is part of the Flint Men's Health study -- a population-based study of black men ages 40 to 79 in Flint, Mich., and aimed to provide insight into why black men have a higher risk of prostate cancer than white men (Health News Digest, 12/4).
- Pulmonary embolisms: Blacks with pulmonary embolisms, or blood clots, are 30% more likely to die than whites, according to a study published in December's issue of the American Journal of Public Health online, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. For the study, lead researcher Said Ibrahim, an associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and colleagues used data from the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council to examine more than 14,000 patients with pulmonary embolisms who were treated in hospitals between January 2000 and November 2002. Overall, 10.3% of blacks died within 30 days of hospital admission, compared with 9% of whites, after adjusting for other health factors that could affect mortality risk, such as cardiovascular disease or cancer. The reasons for the disparity are not clear, though Ibrahim said that differences in treatment might play a role. In addition, blacks might have a higher mortality risk from clots because they are more likely to develop clots in deep veins. They also might respond differently than whites to treatment, the study indicates (Fahy, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 12/2). An abstract of the study is available online.