August 15, 2012 - In the Big Bend area, studies show there are some gaps between race when it comes to health issues. Various leaders of the Leon County health community gathered to discuss the results of surveys and interviews conducted by residents. In Leon County, the three areas residents say they want addressed are obesity and chronic disease, health disparities and access to healthcare. When it comes to disparities, leaders with the health department say they found there is a difference in study outcomes depending on race. Homer Rice with the Leon County Health Department says "for instance with infant mortality we've known for quite a while that there is an issue for blacks having more infant deaths than with whites." Brenda Jarmon, Ph.D. at the FAMU Department of Social Work says "we've got to learn how to work together if we're going to have a future of children who are free of health disparities, free of low socioeconomic status." Leon county health leaders say they talked about the studies, now they are forming committees and will work to address and tackle the issues one by one to make a difference in the next five years.
Also, a new government study finds overall cholesterol levels in children and teens have decreased over the last two decades. It was conducted on more than 16-thousand people, aged six to 19-years-old, over three different time periods from 1988 to 2010. Researchers found a slight decrease in total cholesterol levels, as well as a drop in the number of children who had high cholesterol from 11 percent to 8 percent. The study was released in the Journal of the American Medical Association.