Common Health Problems in El Paso and the Role of Primary Care
The El Paso community is unique in that it rests on the border of the United States and Mexico. El Paso and Juarez share a special relationship in terms of social, economic and cultural traits. People travel back and forth for work, entertainment, and to visit family members and this forms part of our city’s idiosyncrasies. Like every community, El Paso has its own particular health issues and patterns. Understanding these health trends can be an important step to being prepared and preventing them.
The El Paso Times reported in 2018 that El Pasoans are living longer but not necessarily better. According to County Health Rankings & Roadmaps the city placed 19th in length of life and 226th in quality of life. This is a very interesting dichotomy, as it suggests that El Pasoans are not as healthy as they could be. Certain factors might contribute to the Sun City’s long life expectancy and the article names family relations as part of this.
El Paso is 83% Hispanic. Robert Resendes, the director of the city’s Health Department, cited the Hispanic paradox as one of the possible reasons for this strange number gap. The Hispanic paradox refers to the trend that Hispanic groups report similar or better health and mortality outcomes when compared to non-Hispanic white groups, even though Hispanics often have a low socioeconomic status. People in El Paso then tend to exhibit relatively good health but do suffer from common problems like obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and more.
According to the El Paso Diabetes Association in 2016, El Paso exhibited a large percentage of people suffering from diabetes and hyperlipidemia. They reported that 50 percent of all patients admitted to hospitals in El Paso have diabetes-related complications. It estimates 85,281 people in the area suffer from the disease. The obesity rate in Texas was about 32% just a few years ago and El Paso has high obesity rates.
A Quick Note on the Flu Season
Every year people hear about flu season and how it can be dangerous to children and those with weaker immune systems. Last season about 200 kids nationwide suffered and died from the flu. In 2018, KFOX reported early signs that the flu would come on strong in the community when medical providers began to see symptoms rampant early on. Getting vaccinated for the flu is a big step in ensuring good health through the winter season.
Lifestyle and Health Care
So what can people do to stay away from some of these common health problems? There are really two major ways that people can take care of their health. One is through lifestyle changes. This includes getting more exercise and watching diets. Eating more wholesome food and staying away from processed foods and junk food. The second way to increase long-term health is to have a trusted primary care doctor or clinic, where you receive annual checkups and monitoring of your health. A primary health physician will get to know their patients and treat them over time, learning their habits, lifestyles, and environmental factors that could be contributing to their health.
Stop Problems Before They Start
Increase your quality of life by taking care of yourself through good choices and the right health care. Here at New Light Primary Care, we are doing our part to keep our communities safe, healthy, and strong. Join us.