Youth Risk Survey Has Some Good News -- And, For Latinos, Some Bad News

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today released its annual National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which revealed, first and foremost:

"Although the study documents substantial improvements over time in many health risk behaviors among all high school students, Hispanic students remain at greater risk for certain health related behaviors and have not matched the progress made over time by black students and white students in reducing some sexual risk behaviors."
Update: And here is one specific note from the study, courtesy WebMD: "39.2% of ninth to 12th graders in Dallas have been offered, sold, or given an illegal drug, compared with 13.5% of teens in Baltimore (national average: 22.3%)."

Among those speaking out today about the study is Dr. Glenn Flores, a professor of pediatrics and public health at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Children's Medical Center. Six years ago, Flores discussed this very subject -- the health of Latino children -- before the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. And today, he's very disheartened by the survey's results, which he calls "alarming."

Says Flores, "Latino youth are more likely to report feeling sad or hopeless, at 36 percent overall and 42 percent in Latino girls. Latino teens have the highest rate of having made a suicide plan and actually attempting suicide." --Robert Wilonsky

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