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Researchers find rising levels of hypertension in older Mexican-Americans
Date:1/13/2011

GALVESTON, Texas A new study by researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston reveals that the prevalence of hypertension in older Mexican-Americans living in the Southwest region of the United States has increased slightly in the last decade.

Researchers suspect the rise is due, in part, to the increase in diabetes and obesity.

Although hypertension, or high blood pressure, is one of the most common diseases in the United States, affecting more than 72 million Americans, it is one of the most manageable risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Advancements in the diagnosis, treatment and control of hypertension have been major contributors to the decline in cardiovascular mortality in recent decades.

"We always expect that things are improving, right?" said Kyriakos S. Markides, co-author and principal investigator of the study, which has been funded by the National Institute on Aging since 1992. "But now we're finding that, in the more recent study participants, they're more disabled, have more diabetes, have slightly more obesity and slightly more hypertension."

The study, which appears in the January issue of the Annals of Epidemiology, looked at 3,952 older Mexican-Americans residing in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona and California. A group of 3,050 men and women, 65 and older, were evaluated in 1993-1994, and an additional 902 men and women, 75 and older, were added in 2004-2005. Researchers interviewed the study subjects and took health measurements every two to three years.

The hypertension prevalence rates were significantly different in 1993-1994 compared with 2004-2005 (73 percent vs. 78.4 percent, respectively). The increase in hypertension prevalence was significant for subjects 75 to 79 years, for U.S.-born subjects, for subjects with diabetes and for the obese.

Self-reported hypertension was assessed by asking subjects if a doctor had ever told
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Contact: Kristen Hensley
k.hensley@utmb.edu
409-772-6397
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Source:Eurekalert

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