269466 Valley Fever (Coccidioidomycosis) and health disparities in African Americans and Latinos in California

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Vickie M. Mays, PhD, MSPH , UCLA School of Public Health/UCLA Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Denise Johnson, JD , UCLA School of Public Health/UCLA Department of Psychology, UCLA Center for Research, Education, Training and Strategic Communication on Minority Health Disparities, Los Angeles
Statement of Problem: Coccidioidomycosis (CM) is an infectious disease acquired by inhaling the air born spores of the soil-dwelling fungus Coccidioides immitis or Coccidioides posadasii. Coccidioides species is endemic to the Southwestern United States, Mexico and Central and South America. Even mild symptomatic CM is associated with significant morbidity resulting in days or weeks away from school or work. Latinos and Blacks in California experience a disproportionally higher frequency of CM disease with its accompanying morbidity compared to other racial/ethnic groups. The CM case rate per 100,000 for Blacks for the years 2001, 2006, 2009, and 2010 respectively is: 2.0, 12.6, 8.9 and 10.9. The rate for Latinos in those given years is: 4.6, 7.4, 5.4, and 8.1 and Whites: 1.2, 4.4, 2.8, and 4.3 which are 2 to 3 times lower a rate for Blacks and 2 to 4 times lower than that for Latinos. Even mild symptomatic CM is associated with significant morbidity resulting in days or weeks away from school or work. An understanding of the risk factors and social determinate differences contributing to the racial/ethnic patterns of CM disease and how they interact is not fully understood. This presentation will utilize GIS data to examine from a health disparities framework some of those factors--the role of place and contextual factors associated with place of residence, occupational exposures, and SES of Blacks and Latinos in California. Conclusions: This presentation will show the correlation of housing policies, race segregated occupations and SES to the creation of risk clusters of CM for Blacks and Latinos in California. Policy recommendations for subsidized housing policies and land assessments to reduce health disparities of CM in Blacks and Latinos are discussed.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Environmental health sciences
Occupational health and safety
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Explain the etiology and geographic distribution of risks for exposure to CM in California. Explain how SES, social determinants and housing patterns contribute to the racial/ethnic minority pattern of CM disease in California. Discuss how housing policies and employment in race segregated occupations can contribute to health disparities in CM disease among racial/ethnic minorities in California.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have supervised students in this area and I am an expert in disparities research.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.