A Status Report on the Health of People in EI Paso County, Texas and Doña Ana County, New Mexico.
Drank 5 or More Drinks on One Occasion in the Past 30 Days
e oña Ana
C. Alcohol Consumption
Excessive alcohol use is a major health problem in the U.S. One of the main indicators of excessive alcohol use is binge drinking, that is, having five or more drinks on a single occasion. Binge drinking, in particular, is associ- ated with many health problems, including serious unintentional injuries (e.g., car accidents, drownings, and falls), intentional violent acts (e.g., assault, sexual assault, and domestic violence), cardiovascular disease, unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted
diseases, and children born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.1O
In the U.S., one out of every seven adults (14%) reported having had five or more drinks on a single occasion within the previous 30 days. Both counties in the PdN region, as well as Texas, had similar rates. In New Mexico, only one in ten residents reported binge drinking. In all geographic areas studied, about 5% of the population is classified as a 'heavy drinker: that is, consuming more than two drinks per day for a man and more than one drink per day for a woman.
PREVENTIVE CARE A. Cholesterol Check
Had Cholesterol Checked in the Past 5 Years
eEl Paso eDoña Ana eTX eNM eUS
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is needed for the body to function normally. The body makes enough cholesterol for its needs. When there is too much cholesterol, due to diet and the rate at which the cholesterol is processed, it is deposited in arteries including those of the heart. This can begin to block the arteries and reduce blood flow to the heart.11 Over 100 million Americans
levels above the recommended level; 38 million have very high levels and are considered high risk for heart disease.12 Lowering cholesterol can reduce the risk of developing or dying from heart disease, having a nonfatal heart attack, and needing heart bypass surgery or angioplasty. have cholesterol
Although symptoms of heart disease may not show up until middle-age, recent studies indicate that heart disease actually begins developing in childhood. Many health experts agree that aggressive heart disease prevention should target children.13
Had Cholesterol Checked in the Past 5 Years by Ethnicity
e Hispanics e Non-Hispanics
Health care professionals recommend that everyone 20 years of levels checked at least every age and older have their cholesterol
five years.14 Overall, fewer PdN residents had ever had their choles- terol checked (about 59.4%) than those in their respective states
(about 70%), or in the nation as a whole (77.3%). While more than half of residents of the PdN region reported having had their
cholesterol checked in the last five years, Hispanic residents were more than twice as likely as non-Hispanics (45% vs. 22%) to never having had their cholesterol tested. In all geographic areas studied, about one-third of those tested had been told that they had high cholesteroL. The problem may well be worse in this region due to the high number of people who lack health care coverage.