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Crucial differences found among Latino populations facing heart disease risks
Date:1/15/2010

NEW YORK (January 15, 2010) - Latinos are not all the same when it comes to risk of heart disease, and a new study by a Columbia University researcher shows key differences among Hispanic populations that doctors should take into account in trying to stem the risk of cardiovascular disease in this large and growing subset of the U.S. population.

Among the new findings published in the January 19, 2009 Journal of the American College of Cardiology are that Caribbean-origin Hispanics have greater prevalence of hypertension than Mexicans, whom among all the Hispanic subgroups tended to be more susceptible to diabetes, lead cardiologist/researcher Carlos Rodriguez, M.D., MPH, of Columbia University Medical Center and his colleagues have found.

Hispanics are the largest minority ethnic group in the United States, numbering 46 million people or 16 percent of the U.S. population. Sixty-seven percent of Hispanics in the Uniteds States are of Mexican origin, 19 percent come from the Caribbean (principally from Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic), and 14 percent originate from Central and South America, according to federal data.

The study examined left-ventricular hypertrophy and cardiac "remodeling" patterns with the help of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in Hispanic subgroups compared with non-Hispanic whites participating in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis or MESA, which was conducted in six cities across the United States. Dr. Rodriguez conducted this research as a scholar with the Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Cardiac remodeling refers to the changes in size and shape, of the heart when it is subject to repeated stress from high blood pressure or diabetes or volume overload. Cardiac hypertrophy and remodeling have been shown to be a strong risk factor for future heart attacks, stroke and death.

With higher rates of
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Contact: Alex Lyda
alyda@columbia.edu
212-305-0820
Columbia University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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