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Minority Health

Type 2 Diabetes

Individuals belonging to some racial and ethnic populations--including those of black or African American, American Indian, and Hispanic/Latino heritage--have a greater risk of type 2 diabetes. For more information, click here.

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

Some minority populations have a higher risk for high blood pressure, possibly due to factors ranging from family history, ethnic background, lifestyle management and lack of information.

What is High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a leading cause of stroke or heart disease when it is not controlled by medication and lifestyle changes. High blood pressure has few, if any, symptoms. It is a disease of the blood vessels that makes it hard for your heart to pump blood throughout your body.

Your blood pressure is one of the easiest things for you to keep track of. Many drugstores, discount stores and grocery stores have blood pressure machines, so you can keep track of your blood pressure numbers with no charge to you.

High blood pressure consists of two numbers; the top number, systolic pressure and the bottom number, diastolic pressure. The top number should be less than 120 and the bottom number should be less than 80. It is important for you to know your numbers. If you don't have high blood pressure, being aware of the blood pressure numbers will help prevent this lifetime disease. Always record your numbers when you are taking your blood pressure. Take the record of your blood pressure numbers to your health care provider when you have a check-up.

Blood pressure is usually read as:
120 (systolic)
----- over
80 (diastolic)

What Can You Do?

Eat healthy

A well-rounded, portion-controlled diet will help manage your blood pressure and weight. Remember to keep your diet low in salt (sodium), fat and carbohydrates.

Education

Learn as much as you can about preventing and maintaining your blood pressure from your health care provider, National Heart, Lung, Blood Institute, American Heart Association and the Office of Minority Health.

Exercise

Walking 20 to 30 minutes a day will help you stay fit and maintain a healthy weight.

Tobacco Cessation

The use of tobacco in any form is a great health concern. Even if you don't smoke, reduce your exposure to secondhand smoke. If you use tobacco products, prepare yourself to quit as soon as possible.

  • Set a date to stop and mark it on your calendar. Twenty-four hours before the start date make everyone aware of your goal to stop.
  • Remove the smell of tobacco by cleaning your house and car. Remember to get rid of lighters, ashtrays and matches.
  • You can use over-the-counter aids such as nicotine patches and gum. Contact your health insurance provider to see if Nicotine replacement therapy is a covered service.
  • Know what your triggers are that make you want to use tobacco products and be prepared with chewing gum, celery or carrot sticks.
  • Kentucky has a free Quit Now program that helps you quit using tobacco products. You can contact the Quit Now program at (800) 784-8669.
Cancer

Individuals belonging to some racial and ethnic populations--including those of black or African American, American Indian, and Hispanic/Latino heritage--are more likely to develop certain types of cancer.

What is Cancer?

Cells are the building blocks of our bodies. Cancer is the rapid growth of abnormal cells of the body. It is possible to have cancer that starts in a mole or wart. Cancer may also start in the lungs, breast, prostate, colon, rectum or other parts of the body. Therefore, it is very important to know the warning signs of cancer.

Signs and Symptoms
  • Change in bowel or bladder habits
  • A sore that does not heal
  • Obvious changes in a mole or wart such as getting bigger
  • A lump or thickening in your breast or any part of your body
  • Difficulty swallowing or frequent indigestion
  • A bothersome cough or hoarseness

If you have any of these symptoms, please notify your healthcare provider as soon as possible.

What Can You Do?

Diet

Eat at least five servings a day of fresh fruits and vegetables. Foods such as apples, pears, cabbage, kale greens, squash, broccoli and whole grain not only help you have a balanced diet but will also help decrease your chance of colon cancer. Decrease your intake of red processed meats and fried foods.

Education

Learn as much as you can about preventing cancer from your health care provider, American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute and the Office of Minority Health.

Exercise

Walking 20 to 30 minutes a day will help you stay fit and maintain a healthy weight.

Limit your exposure to sunlight

Protect yourself from direct sunlight with loose-fitting clothes in the summer. Use a sun screen with a SPF of 20 to 45 when outdoors.

Tobacco Cessation

The use of tobacco in any form is a great health concern. Even if you don't smoke, reduce your exposure to secondhand smoke. If you use tobacco products, prepare yourself to quit as soon as possible.

  • Set a date to stop and mark it on your calendar. Twenty-four hours before the start date make everyone aware of your goal to stop.
  • Remove the smell of tobacco by cleaning your house and car. Remember to get rid of lighters, ashtrays and matches.
  • You can use over-the-counter aids such as nicotine patches and gum. Contact your health insurance provider to see if Nicotine replacement therapy is a covered service.
  • Know what your triggers are that make you want to use tobacco products and be prepared with chewing gum, celery or carrot sticks.
  • Kentucky has a free Quit Now program that helps you quit using tobacco products. You can contact the Quit Now program at (800) 784-8669.

 

Last Updated 9/28/2012
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