Beat the Biggest Health Issues in Latino and Asian Communities

[avatar user=”dponieman” size=”thumbnail” align=”left” link=””]By: Diego Ponieman, M.D. M.P.H.[/avatar]April celebrates National Minority Health Month, providing the perfect opportunity to raise awareness on health issues facing the two largest communities served by SOMOS Community Care – the Latino and Asian communities – and tips on addressing them in order to stay healthy.

Heart Disease

Common factors that increase your chance of heart disease include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking. But, there are some key steps that individuals can take to help reduce their risk of heart disease:

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Following the DASH Nutrition Plan is the best way to approach reduce risk by eating healthy. Focus on eating fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and foods with lots of fiber, and try to avoid processed foods and foods with high amounts of salt, sugar, trans and saturated fats. Click here for tons of information on DASH!
  • Stay active! It is recommended that you aim for at thirty minutes of physical activity a day. Obesity is a driving factor of heart disease, so it’s important to make physical activity a part of your regular routine.
  • Avoid smoking. Smoking greatly increases your chances of developing heart disease among may other health issues. If you’re having trouble quitting, click here for tips about how to stop.
  • Watch your alcohol intake. While drinking excessively is never healthy, it also greatly increases your chance of heart disease by putting extra strain on your heart. It’s okay to have alcohol…in moderation of course.


There are over 100 different types of cancer, and the best way to fight them is to stay knowledgeable about your health.

  • Get screened. Screenings are very helpful in making sure you’re healthy, and can catch cancer in its early stages. Look into screenings for breast, cervical, lung and colon cancer, and most importantly, speak with your doctor if your family has a history of cancer.
  • Get vaccinated. Vaccinations like the Hepatitis B vaccine and the HPV vaccine are essential in preventing different types of cancers.
  • Protect your skin. Skin cancer is the most common kind of cancer and one of the most easily preventable! As the days become sunnier and warmer and our bodies are covered less, it’s important to wear sunscreen every day to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.



Obesity is a big health concern in both Latino and Asian communities, and can lead to several health issues, most notably diabetes. Here are some easy steps you can work into your daily routine to maintain a healthy weight.

  • Get active and eat well. It should not be news to you: getting regular exercise and eating a well-balanced diet will help you maintain a healthy body weight. Make sure to move your body for at least 30 minutes a day, and look through some of our previous blog posts to find some great easy, healthy recipes.
  • Support your community. Obesity is a huge issue in many New York City communities, and you can help combat that by getting involved and encouraging others to get educated on how to stay healthy. Participate in local community exercise classes, encourage your neighbors to exercise with you, or share some of the healthy recipes we share on this website with a friend or family member.

This National Minority Health Month, remember to follow these easy health tips, and schedule your annual check-up with your primary care physician. Get screened, ask questions, and get yourself on the right track to living your healthiest life!