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Public Health Reports: Biological Risk and Infection Profiles of Young Adult Male Mexican American Gang Members

In a recent article in Public Health Reports, Drs. Alice Cepeda and Avelardo Valez and Ms. Jessica Frankeberger of the University of Southern California, Dr. Kathryn M. Nowotny of the University of Miami, and Dr. Jarron M. Saint Onge of the University of Kansas compared biological indicators of cardiovascular and metabolic risk as well as the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in young adult Mexican American males affiliated with gangs as adolescents to a national sample of Latino men. A bivariate analysis assessed both indicators of cardiovascular and metabolic risk as well as multiple indicators of STI for 179 formerly gang-affiliated Mexican American men from San Antonio, Texas and 155 Mexican American men found in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Compared to the national sample, the gang-affiliated sample showed higher blood pressure, BMI, and levels of C-related protein, as well as a higher prevalence of STIs.

The authors concluded that there is a need for tailored prevention strategies geared toward gang-affiliated Mexican American men and that long-term exposures to psychosocial stressors and subsequent systemic inflammation may increase the risk for psychological and physiological dysregulation and harmful chronic health conditions in this population.

Full article

Public Health Reports is the official journal of the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General and the U.S. Public Health Service and has been published since 1878. It is published bimonthly, plus supplement issues, through an official agreement with the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health. PHR’s mission is to facilitate the movement of science into public health practice and policy to positively affect the health and wellness of the American public.

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