Breaking News
January 15, 2019 - AHA: New Cholesterol Guidelines Put Ethnicity in the Spotlight
January 15, 2019 - Different brain areas linked to smoking and drinking
January 15, 2019 - Henry Marsh shares insights into neurosurgery and more at Dean’s Lecture Series
January 15, 2019 - Want to Live Longer? For Just 30 Minutes a Day, Do Anything Else But Sit
January 15, 2019 - The Current issue of “The view from here” is concerned with Targets
January 15, 2019 - Plain packaging sparked tobacco price rises, new study finds
January 15, 2019 - Sedentary lifestyles can be unhealthy, physical activity can lower risk
January 15, 2019 - Gut microbiome may help prevent development of cow’s milk allergy
January 15, 2019 - Lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals more likely to suffer severe substance use disorders
January 15, 2019 - New England Journal of Medicine Publishes Positive Results of the Pivotal Trial of Cablivi (caplacizumab) for Rare Blood Clotting Disorder
January 15, 2019 - Levels of inflammatory marker (CRP) linked to housing type and tenure
January 15, 2019 - Three gifts I’m glad I gave myself in 2018
January 15, 2019 - Columbia’s Pediatrics Department Names New Vice Chairs, Expands Leadership
January 15, 2019 - US FDA Accepts Regulatory Submissions for Review of Tafamidis to Treat Transthyretin Amyloid Cardiomyopathy
January 15, 2019 - Staying fit can cut your risk of heart attack by half
January 15, 2019 - Vitamin D supplements are of no gain to those over 70, study shows
January 15, 2019 - Scientists create comprehensive new method to predict breast cancer risk
January 15, 2019 - Research shows connection between social media use and impaired risky decision-making
January 15, 2019 - FDA Approves Expanded Use of Adacel (Tdap) Vaccine for Repeat Vaccination
January 15, 2019 - Treating spinal pain with replacement discs made of ‘engineered living tissue’ moves closer to reality
January 15, 2019 - Providers Walk ‘Fine Line’ Between Informing And Scaring Immigrant Patients
January 15, 2019 - Outcomes Poorer for Medicaid Beneficiaries With STEMI
January 15, 2019 - Decorative Products on Foods Can Be Unsafe
January 15, 2019 - A dream of sustainable surgery in Uganda
January 15, 2019 - Study shows how herpes viruses and tumors have learned to manipulate the same ancient RNA
January 15, 2019 - Common Heart, Diabetes Meds May Help Ease Mental Illness
January 15, 2019 - Stress and trauma in earliest years linked to reduced hippocampal volume in adolescence
January 15, 2019 - Scientists identify endogenous activator of sigma-1 receptors in human cells
January 15, 2019 - MAR treatments unlikely to be cause of premature or low birth weight babies
January 15, 2019 - Parental CPTSD increases transmission of trauma to offspring of Tutsi genocide survivors
January 15, 2019 - High-fat diets shown to increase blood pressure
January 15, 2019 - New institute for food safety to be established in Netherlands
January 15, 2019 - Keele University researchers receive £2.4 million grant to help reduce overprescribing of opioids
January 15, 2019 - Synthetic compound reverses mutant p53 aggregate accumulation, study shows
January 15, 2019 - First elder care robot tested in a WSU smart home apartment
January 15, 2019 - Oxford researchers explore relationship between technology use and adolescent mental health
January 15, 2019 - From microbiome research to healthier and sustainable foods
January 15, 2019 - How coaching moms and dads improves infants’ language skills
January 15, 2019 - Precision health approach tapped to identify causes of poverty
January 14, 2019 - DNA origami can accurately measure how antibodies interact with several antigens
January 14, 2019 - Researchers identify multiple new subtypes of most common childhood cancer
January 14, 2019 - Total Fertility Rates Vary by State
January 14, 2019 - Elevated blood lead level in early childhood associated with increased risk of academic problems in school-aged children
January 14, 2019 - Superior technique identified that can block CRISPR gene editing
January 14, 2019 - Turning breast cancer cells into fat cells prevents the formation of metastases
January 14, 2019 - Review examines what influences HIV-positive patients to stay on antiretroviral drugs in Africa
January 14, 2019 - Identifying genetic factors that lead to squamous cell carcinoma
January 14, 2019 - Virtual video visits can replace office visits without compromising quality of care
January 14, 2019 - Health Highlights: Jan. 10, 2019
January 14, 2019 - Scientists uncover how protein clumps damage cells in Parkinson’s
January 14, 2019 - Physician-scientist’s “indomitable spirit” prevails over personal adversity
January 14, 2019 - King’s researchers receive £1.25 million to investigate fatal eating disorder
January 14, 2019 - UCR researchers uncover how plants sense temperature
January 14, 2019 - Scientists find link between colitis and colon cancer
January 14, 2019 - New skin patch provides long-acting contraceptive protection
January 14, 2019 - Asparagine synthetase deficiency – Genetics Home Reference
January 14, 2019 - Improved stem cell approach could aid fight against Parkinson’s
January 14, 2019 - New class of sleeping pill preserves ability to wake in response to danger signals
January 14, 2019 - Cancer patients are four times more likely to commit suicide
January 14, 2019 - The human brain works in reverse order to retrieve memories
January 14, 2019 - Simple tips can lead to better food choices
January 14, 2019 - Meth’s Resurgence Spotlights Lack Of Meds To Combat The Addiction
January 14, 2019 - TARA Biosystems and Insilico Medicine collaborate to discover novel therapies for cardiac disease
January 14, 2019 - Early life stress in mice affects their offspring behavior
January 14, 2019 - Depression Tied to Worse Asthma Outcomes in Urban Teens
January 14, 2019 - Santa calorie counting
January 14, 2019 - Opiod prescriptions for pet dogs misused by their masters
January 14, 2019 - People with ASD could be better at recognizing regret and relief in others finds study
January 14, 2019 - Conducting ChIP-Seq with Low Cell Numbers
January 14, 2019 - Study explores support and social networks of family carers of people with dementia
January 14, 2019 - At Risk for an Opioid OD? There’s an App for That
January 14, 2019 - Single national electronic health record will help improve care in Canadian hospitals
January 14, 2019 - Study unearths Britain’s first speech therapists
January 14, 2019 - Study reveals nuances of racial inequalities in breast cancer prevention
January 14, 2019 - Air pollution can raise the risk of miscarriage among women finds study
January 14, 2019 - An extra meal a day cuts deaths by half in elderly with hip fractures
January 14, 2019 - Researchers report vision-based neurotransmitter events for the first time
January 14, 2019 - Pharmacists could significantly reduce ED crowdedness
January 14, 2019 - PTSD linked with cardiovascular disease and cancer, study shows
January 14, 2019 - New analytic model can accurately predict patients at risk of developing PTSD
Rural borderland communities vulnerable to high stress impacting mental and physical health

Rural borderland communities vulnerable to high stress impacting mental and physical health

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

The borderlands between the United States and Mexico are home to numerous Mexican and Central American rural communities, with many members living in poverty and frustrated by limited access to basic resources.

A study on inequalities and health among foreign-born Latinos in rural borderland communities, led by a researcher at the University of California, Riverside, has found that this population is vulnerable to high stress that negatively impacts its mental and physical health.

“While the research focused on Latino immigrants in Southern California, our findings tell us a lot about structural level factors and daily life events and chronic strain that create stress for minorities and immigrants in rural communities,” said Ann Cheney, an assistant professor in the Center for Healthy Communities in the School of Medicine, who led the research. “Factors outside Latino immigrants’ control negatively affect their health. Some of these factors are historically based, such as the subjugation of Mexicans in the eastern Coachella Valley, whereas others are because of current immigration and policing practices and unfair living and working conditions.”

The findings, published in the journal Social Science & Medicine, have implications for immigrants along the U.S.-Mexico border as well as immigrant populations in rural America. They also have implications for nonprofit organizations and public healthcare systems.

“While the structural factors which are historically rooted may differ per racial or ethnic group, the lack of healthcare access and inequalities present in their living and working environments are likely similar across immigrant communities in rural America,” Cheney said. “These communities are often characterized by substandard housing, poor infrastructure, unsanitary conditions, and unsafe public drinking water. In the U.S., rural health is an often-overlooked health disparity.”

During 2015 and 2016, Cheney and her team conducted individual and group interviews with farmworkers, farmworker advocates, community leaders, and healthcare service providers on the health concerns and factors contributing to poor health among immigrant farm-working communities in inland Southern California’s eastern Coachella Valley.

Their investigation showed that historical factors such as oppression of farm labor in the valley and current practices such as racial profiling make foreign-born Latinos vulnerable to inequalities that contribute to low social status, employment and housing instability, and limited access to healthcare services. These inequalities affect self-worth, dignity, and wellbeing; creating stress and resulting in poor mental and physical health.

“Over time, these daily and chronic strains affect control over life and self-worth, contributing to poor mental and physical health conditions,” Cheney said.

The research paper calls for local community action, healthcare policy change, and further in-depth research on structural inequalities in health among foreign-born Latinos.

“Nonprofits, healthcare systems, policy makers and researchers need to take action and address structural-level inequality in health,” Cheney said. “The health of this Latino population is incredibly important — they are the backbone of the American food system. The eastern Coachella Valley, one of the richest agricultural areas of the world, alone contributes more than $600 million in agricultural production to our economy.”

The paper notes that the undocumented status of many foreign-born Latinos limits their access to public services such as healthcare and stable employment. It also makes them vulnerable to discrimination and exploitation, ultimately affecting their health and wellbeing by increasing blood pressure, cholesterol levels, hypertension, and adipose tissue.

“Not being able to achieve life goals that are collectively defined as important can be a profoundly stressful experience and lead to psychological distress, psychosomatic symptoms, and compromised immune system,” Cheney said. “We need to create long-term solutions that identify the structures that have historically produced and continue to produce inequalities in health. We tend to overemphasize empirical, measurable data which allows us to create immediate solutions, such as increased transportation, but that doesn’t change the general lack of resources within these communities or social status or inequality in working and living contexts that contribute to poor health.”

Cheney and her team used a participatory research approach to engage the community. The approach helped the team develop rapport and long-term partnerships with leaders and farmworkers in the eastern Coachella Valley. The researchers conducted informal interviews with 18 stakeholders, including community leaders, service providers, and farmworkers and advocates. They spoke to a community review board with nine stakeholders; and three focus groups with a total of 25 farmworkers and advocates. The majority of the participants were women.

Participants self-identified as Mexican, were local, and were current or former farm workers or had grown up in a farm-working family. Forty percent had not seen a provider in the past year. Forty-four percent did not have health insurance.

Eastern Coachella Valley is home to predominantly Mexican-origin farm-working families living in poverty. Once migrants reach the valley, they face chronic sources of strain linked to aggressive immigration and local law enforcement, unfair housing practices, and severely limited access to essential resources, including healthcare services.

“Our study gives voice to the voiceless in an effort to influence public understandings of the immigrant experience and provides evidence that can inform public health and immigration policy change,” Cheney said. “We show how inequalities across multiple social systems position foreign-born Latinos in low social status in the U.S. rendering them vulnerable to persistent and chronic strain that affect health and wellbeing.”

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles