May 21, 2013
When the sun rises over the Rio Grande Valley, the cries of the urracas — blackbirds — perched on the tops of palm trees swell to a noisy, unavoidable cacophony. That is also the strategy, it could be said, that local officials, health care providers and frustrated valley residents are trying to use to persuade Gov. Rick Perry and state Republican lawmakers to set aside their opposition and expand Medicaid, a key provision of the federal health law.
The Rio Grande Valley has a load of troubles: high unemployment, low-paying jobs, warring Mexican cartels, a meager tax base and legions of people without health insurance. While many of those woes seem incurable, expanding Medicaid to the region’s uninsured is, to , who runs several local health clinics, a no-brainer. “I think if we’re not ready, if Texas doesn’t buy in in the next three months, shame on us,” she says.
May 20, 2013
The New York Times, 5/18/2013
Becoming an American can be bad for your health. A growing body of mortality research on immigrants has shown that the longer they live in this country, the worse their rates of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. And while their American-born children may have more money, they tend to live shorter lives than the parents. The pattern goes against any notion that moving to America improves every aspect of life. It also demonstrates that at least in terms of health, worries about assimilation for the country’s 11 million illegal immigrants are mistaken. In fact, it is happening all too quickly.
“There’s something about life in the United States that is not conducive to good health across generations,” said Robert A. Hummer, a social demographer at the University of Texas at Austin. For Hispanics, now the nation’s largest immigrant group, the foreign-born live about three years longer than their American-born counterparts, several studies have found. Why does life in the United States — despite its sophisticated health care system and high per capita wages — lead to worse health?
May 9, 2013
Science Magazine, 5/8/2013
Perched on the summit of a dormant volcano in the Mexican state of Puebla, the Large Millimeter Telescope (LMT) watches how stars, galaxies, and planets form. The result of a binational collaboration between the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Mexico’s National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics, and Electronics (INAOE), the LMT saw first light in 2011 and is about to begin its first scientific observation season. ScienceInsider chatted with LMT Director David Hughes about millimeter-wavelength telescopes, Mexico’s growing astronomy community, and his plans for the LMT’s future. This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.
April 26, 2013
Al Jazeera, 4/26/13
Mexicans have always loved to eat and drink, but rapidly changing dietary habits have created a nation in danger of eating themselves to death. Mexican schoolchildren are now some of the fattest in the world, with one in three classified as overweight or obese – a 27 percent rise in 12 years, according to the latest National Survey of Health and Nutrition. Their parents also score high on global ranking tables – weighing in second behind only the United States.
Among adults, a staggering 73 percent of women are overweight or obese; men are only marginally thinner, with 69 percent “abnormally” sized. The National Survey reveals what is obvious to even an untrained eye: people of a “normal” or healthy weight are becoming a rare breed in this food-obsessed country. Mexico’s biggest killers are now cardiovascular diseases – including heart failure, myocardial infarctions (heart attacks) and strokes – and diabetes. Together these accounted for 150,000 deaths in 2012, according to World Health Organisation figures.
April 10, 2013
A pediatric specialty hospital will be inaugurated on April 30th in Chihuahua. According to DIF state president, Bertha Gomez Duarte, this facility plans to serve Chilren from the states of Chihuahua, Durango, Sonora, and Coahuila.
April 10, 2013
Criminalization of women who interrupted their pregnancy increased after state reforms that protect life from conception were passed.
Overall 679 Mexican women were denounced for committing abortion between 2009 and 2011.
April 10, 2013
The Economist, 4/10/13
Mexico has long been a country that derives extraordinary pleasure from eating and drinking—and it hasn’t minded the consequences much either. Gordo or gorda, meaning “chubby”, is used by both wives and husbands as a term of endearment. Pudgy kids bear proudly the nickname gordito, as they tuck into snacks after school slathered with beans, cheese, cream and salsa.
Your correspondent, having just arrived to live in Mexico City after more than a decade away, finds the increase in waistlines even more staggering than the increase in traffic. Mexico has become one of the most overweight countries on earth, even more so than the United States; a quarter of its men and a third of its women are obese. Indecorously, the country has even come up with figures on figures: the Mexican Diabetes Federation says that among women between 20 and 49, the average waistline is 91.1cm (35.9 inches), more than 10cm above the “ideal” size. Stores are now full of large- and extra large-sized clothing.
March 26, 2013
CBS News, 3/26/2013
Earthquakes shook Mexico City on Tuesday, causing buildings to sway in the capital and sending thousands fleeing into the streets as an earthquake alarm sounded.
There were no immediate reports of damages or injuries. Mexico Seismology Service said the quake had a magnitude of 5.9 and was centered about 30 miles southwest of Pinotepa Nacional on the Pacific Coast.
March 11, 2013
The Wall Street Journal, 3/8/2013
He was like many people in their early 20s, at least the type with spiky black hair and two lip rings. Four years ago, while living in this teeming border city, Gonzalo Garcia says he spent free time in the U.S., to shop, meet girls, and “hang out.” He had no idea he was developing a potentially deadly form of tuberculosis. Exactly how long he had it will never be known. He says he started losing weight and becoming tired and tried to get help. But it took a year before a doctor finally figured out what was wrong: He had a drug-resistant strain of TB. “Many doctors said I was just fine,” said Mr. Garcia, sitting in the clinic where he was cured.
To this day, it isn’t clear if he infected anyone on either side of the border while he was contagious. But his tale illustrates a nagging concern among health officials who say the 2,000-mile border between the U.S. and Mexico could become a breeding ground for one of the hardest forms of TB to treat. Already, both California and Texas, as well as some states on the Mexico side of the border, have unusually high rates of drug-resistant TB.