While heart disease is the number one killer in the United States across all ethnic groups, it is of heightened concern to Hispanics because of the prevalence of high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes.
High Blood Pressure
A recent survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that more than a quarter of Hispanics reported having high blood pressure. Of those individuals with high blood pressure, nearly one third were not taking medication that could help reduce their risk of heart attack and stroke.
High Prevalence of Obesity
According to the CDC, the prevalence of adult obesity in Hispanics ranged from 21 to 36.7 percent. Being overweight can lead to a build of plaque in your arteries, which further increases your risk of heart attack or stroke. Also, being obese can increase your blood pressure, lower “good” HDL cholesterol, raise bad cholesterol, and raise triglyceride levels.
Growing Rates of Diabetes
An estimated 30 percent of adult Hispanics have diabetes, but as many as half don’t know it. Untreated, diabetes can lead to serious complications. In fact, heart disease, particularly coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure, is nearly twice as common for diabetics because high blood sugar can be harmful to the heart’s blood vessels.
While Hispanics and Latinos have a high prevalence of risk factors for heart disease, many of them can be managed through conscious life changes. Keeping up with information on heart disease and following a H.E.A.R.T Healthy lifestyle can help.