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Many U.S. Hispanics Have Heart Disease Risk Factors

MONDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Many Hispanic adults in the United States have major risk factors for cardiovascular disease, a new study reveals.

The researchers also found that Hispanics born in the United States are more likely to have multiple cardiovascular disease risk factors and a history of coronary heart disease and stroke, compared to those born outside the country.

The study was published online Nov. 5 and in the Nov. 7 print issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, and was to be presented Monday at the American Heart Association's annual meeting in Los Angeles.

Researchers looked at data from more than 16,000 Hispanic men and women, ages 18 to 74, with Cuban, Dominican, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Central American and South American backgrounds.

Eighty percent of men and 71 percent of women had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or smoking.

The study findings "demonstrate the pervasive burden of [cardiovascular disease] risk factors in all Hispanic/Latino groups in the United States and identify specific groups by origin, socio-demographic characteristics, and sociocultural backgrounds at particularly high risk of cardiovascular disease," authors Dr. Martha Daviglus, at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and Dr. Gregory Talavera, at San Diego State University, said in a journal news release.

Among men, 31 percent had one risk factor, most commonly high cholesterol; 28 percent had two risk factors and 21 percent had three or more risk factors.

Among women, 30 percent had one risk factor, most commonly obesity; 23 percent had two risk factors and 17 percent had three or more risk factors.

Puerto Rican men and women were most likely to have three or more risk factors, while South American men and women were least likely, the investigators found.

"These data may enhance the impetus to implement interventions to lower the burden of [cardiovascular disease] risk factors among Hispanic/Latino people overall and targeted at-risk groups, as well as develop strategies to prevent future development of adverse [cardiovascular disease] risk factors starting at the youngest ages," the study authors concluded.

People with lower levels of education or income were more likely to have three risk factors, as were those who were born in the United States, the study findings showed.

More information

The American Heart Association has more about cardiovascular disease.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Journal of the American Medical Association, news release, Nov. 5, 2012

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