Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.

Current project

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Hello! Popping in to give a quick update. I do have a couple more Small Travels and Musings posts about state parks, but those have been put on hold for a week or so.

I’ve got a few things I’m working on and those take priority. Sorry! Not that y’all aren’t important or anything.

Though I haven’t posted here, I have been a busy bee writing essays for applications, a paper prospectus and, now, my paper. I’ve been interning at a local medical school since June, which includes reading background information on various topics. For my project, I selected how sleep quality affects cognition, specifically Hispanic farmworkers and manual laborers. A statistician has started analyzing the data and has begun turning out some numbers, which I’ve started to look over.

For several weeks I read through a lot of papers and found some really eye-opening information. For instance, check this out:

  • Half of migrant and seasonal farmworkers earn less than $7,500 per year. Farmworker families earn less than $10,000 per year. (1)
  • Average life expectancy of migrant and seasonal farmworkers is 49 years. The national average is 75 years. (1)
  • Children of farmworker families experience more frequent respiratory, parasitic and skin infections; vitamin deficiencies; and dental problems than other children. (1)
  • Farmworkers experience 150-300% more teeth decay than their peers. (1)
  • African-Americans and Latinos report poorer sleep compared to Caucasians. (2)
  • When education, employment and marital status are included, there is a sleep disadvantage among poorer groups, especially Caucasians. (2)
  • Poor health is associated with a 4-fold increased chance for poor sleep. (Poor sleep can affect health and vice versa.) (2)

Did your jaw drop? Mine does every time I read the first few facts. Appalling. I included the last bit of information because I’m looking at sleep and I thought you’d find it interesting, too.

It’s really exciting to think of changes that could occur as a result of such research. Imagine what good could be accomplished with some elbow grease and cooperation.

References:

  1. Hansen, Eric and Martin Donohoe. “Health Issues of Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers.” Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved (2003). 14(2): 153-164.
  2. Patel, Nirav P. et al. “Sleep disparity in the population: poor sleep quality is strongly associated with poverty and ethnicity.” BMC Public Health (2010). 10: 475.
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