Latino Community and Cardiovascular Disease essay

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These are high cholesterol levels, obesity, physical activity, smoking and racism. According to the 2003 report by the American Heart Association, 53% of Mexican-American men and 48% of women aged 20-74 have high bad cholesterol levels.

The 1999-2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey reported that 33%

of Mexican-American women and 28% of men were obese, as compared with 20% of non-Hispanic women. Adolescents aged 12-19 were 24% overweight as compared with non-Hispanic white adolescents at only 13%. And Latino children aged 6-11 were also likelier to be overweight than non-Hispanic black children at 20% and non-Hispanic white children at 12%.Obesity increases the risk of developing diabetes. Hispanics are also less likely to engage in physical activity. Physical inactivity further increases the risk of developing diabetes. Smoking was found to be higher among white adults at 25.3% than among Hispanic adults at 20.4%. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System found that a third of Hispanic children aged 9-12 were cigarette smokers and 19% were adult smokers. And racism subjects ethnic or minority groups to basic inequalities in social structure. This extends to health care where racism is at the root of the inequalities.

Gan, C. (2000). Latino Health Study. News Medical Center: UC Davis Health System.

Retrieved on August 14, 2009 from

The author discusses the results of the Sacramento Area Latino Study on Aging or SALSA. University of California researchers reached out to the Latino community and health care providers. Their goal was to improve efforts at screening, treating and preventing diabetes in that community. They responded specifically to the prevalence of diabetes among older Latinos, which was at least twice as high as in Caucasians. They noted that diabetes was also more likely to be poorly controlled in that community with more adverse effects on daily life. The researchers drew from the results of a previous five-year health study of 1,800 Latinos over 59 years old in Sacramento.

SALSA had 1,789 respondents, of whom 30% had diabetes. While most diabetics have health insurance and undergo treatment, 38% of them do not monitor their blood sugar. This lack of control affects their physical and mental functions and daily activities. It can also produce or lead to serious complications, such as kidney disease, eye disease and peripheral vascular disease. Elderly diabetic Latinos were three times more prone to stroke, two times to kidney disease and 2.5 to hypertension than non-diabetic respondents in the SALSA study. It brought together a multidisciplinary group of physicians, researchers and community educators to a common focus. That focus was to prevent physical and cognitive decline among elderly Latinos.

Latinos are the fastest growing group of elderly in the U.S. who also more vulnerable to major illnesses than other Americans. Elderly Latinos, especially Mexicans, are a higher risk for diabetes, hypertension and obesity than elderly Caucasians. More studies are, thus, warranted on the health status and needs of this particular population.

The hypothesis of this study is that the Latino community is at a significant risk for cardiovascular disease.


This study uses the descriptive-normative method of research in recording, describing, interpreting, analyzing and comparing information from recent and authoritative sources.

Findings and Conclusion

World Health Organization says that CVD is the number one cause of deaths globally and takes more lives than all other causes combined. It is also the overall leading cause of all deaths among Latinos. Despite these alarming and glaring realities, the Latinos are generally unaware of their condition or are bereft of the means to address it. They are the largest ethnic group in the U.S. And the highest poverty and unemployment rates. Yet their businesses, manpower and purchasing power have grown.

High blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, smoking, diabetes, overweight or obesity, physical inactivity, socio-economic factors and poverty are the major factors to CVD and stroke. They are all prevalent among the Latino community, including women, children and the elderly. They also suffer from a lack of health insurance, health literacy, and language barrier. National development proceeds from the collective welfare of the people, including Latinos. Hence, there exists a pressing need to recognize and address their health situation.

The results of the pilot test of a community-based outreach program, "Health for Your Heart," offer an effective approach to reducing the incidence of CVD and deaths from CVD by improving Latinos' health habits and promoting referrals, screenings and information sharing among families. The program can be integrated into a medical model to prevent or reduce CVD incidence in the Latino community in particular.


American Heart Association (2009). Hispanics/Latinos and cardiovascular diseases statistics. Retrieved on August 14, 2009 from

Balcazar, H.; Hollen, M.L.; Gonzales-Cruz, Y; and Pedregon, V. (2005). Preventing chronic disease. Vol 2 #3. Public Health Research, Practice and Policy; Centers

for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved on August 14, 2009 from

Gan, C. (2000). Latino health study. News Medical Center: UC Davis Health System.

Retrieved on August 14, 2009 from

Hispanic Health Council (2006). Profile of Latino health in Connecticut. Latino Policy

Institute. Retrieved on August 14, 2009 from

Management Sciences for Health (2004). Hispanic/Latinos and cardiovascular…[continue]

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Cite This Essay:

"Latino Community And Cardiovascular Disease" (2009, August 15) Retrieved December 1, 2016, from

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"Latino Community And Cardiovascular Disease", 15 August 2009, Accessed.1 December. 2016,

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