Hispanics living in the United States have a number of risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including high rates of tobacco use, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
According to a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, Hispanics born in the United States have an even larger risk for cardiovascular disease when compared to those born outside of the country. This might be related to the adoption of what is considered an American lifestyle, with higher levels of stress, poor diet and lack of activity.
“We found that U.S. Hispanic/Latino prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors had been underestimated,” Dr. Martha Daviglus, director of the Institute for Minority Health Research at the University of Illinois at Chicago and first author of the JAMA report, said in a statement.
Cardiovascular disease and Hispanics study
Researchers found 80 percent of Hispanic men and 71 percent of Hispanic women in the test group had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
The data was pulled from a pool of more than 16,000 Hispanic volunteers between the ages of 18 and 74. Study participants were of multiple Hispanic subgroups, including Dominican, Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Central American and South American descent.
Researchers found Puerto Ricans had the highest prevalence of three or more cardiovascular risk factors.
While Hispanic subgroups did play a role in disease risk, the study revealed Hispanics in high risk categories also included those living in poverty, Hispanics born in the United States, individuals who had become acculturated by living in the U.S. at least 10 years, and those who preferred English language over Spanish.
Gender differences in cardiovascular disease risks were also seen among the Hispanics in the study.
Thirty-one percent of men showed one risk factor for cardiovascular disease; 28 percent had two risk factors; and 21 percent had three or more risk factors. In contrast, 30 percent of women showed one cardiovascular risk factor, 23 percent had two risk factors and 17 percent had three or more risk factors.
“It is important to understand the distribution of risk factors in this relatively young population,” Daviglus said, “because this is our opportunity to educate the community and prevent cardiovascular disease that could be devastating to this population as they age.”
In conclusion, study authors state the findings may help aid in the development of better prevention programs when it comes to Hispanic health and cardiovascular disease.
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Will this information about cardiovascular disease risks make you consider changing your lifestyle habits?