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Uncontrolled Blood Pressure Highest Among Hispanics, Prompting New Hypertension Project in Miami

MIAMI, Sept. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Alliance for Hispanic Health (the Alliance) is launching a new national program called Hypertension ... Control is in your Hands (Presion alta ... El control esta en tus manos) with the goal of raising awareness of hypertension (high blood pressure), promoting prevention, and helping Hispanic adults bring their high blood pressure under control. The Alliance is conducting education and blood pressure screening events in Miami in collaboration with the Little Havana Activities and Nutrition Centers of Dade County, Inc. The first event will be this Friday, September 14, 2007 from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm at the Rafael Villaverde Senior Center at 700 SW 8th Street in Miami.

"It's of great concern that there is a significant proportion of the Hispanic population with hypertension who are unaware of their condition and do not have their high blood pressure under control," said Dr. Jane L. Delgado, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health. "As part of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Alliance and our partners are going to make a difference by launching a series of community education and blood pressure screening events that will improve health and save lives."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that Hispanics with hypertension are less likely to be aware of their condition. Among Mexican American adults with hypertension, only about half (49.8%) are aware of their condition and are less likely to have their hypertension under control (17.3%) compared to non-Hispanic blacks (29.8%) and non-Hispanic whites (29.8%) with high blood pressure.

While hypertension rates are lower among Mexican Americans, research from the Institute of Medicine and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute is raising concern that rates may increase after the first generation as Hispanics adopt unhealthy habits, including dietary practices. According to CDC, the age-adjusted prevalence of hypertension is 40.5% among non-Hispanic blacks, 27.4% for non-Hispanic whites, and 25.1% among Mexican Americans.

In addition to Hispanic Heritage Month hypertension screening events in San Ysidro, CA, Miami, FL, New York, NY, and San Antonio, TX, the Alliance announced the availability of personalized free information by calling the Alliance's Su Familia National Hispanic Family Health Helpline (1-866-SU- FAMILIA or 1-866-783-2645). Callers can get basic information on hypertension and referral to health care providers where they live. In addition, as part of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Alliance is offering callers a free pocket- card for tracking their blood pressure, including key questions patients should ask their health care provider about hypertension.

According to Dr. Delgado, "knowing your blood pressure is one of the most important steps you can take para su salud."

About the Hypertension ... Control is in your Hands initiative

The CEH initiative is designed to increase awareness, prevention, and treatment for hypertension in the Hispanic community. This one-year initiative focuses on the development of targeted materials, providing information to patients and providers through the National Alliance for Hispanic Health's bilingual Su Familia Helpline, and conducting an assessment of hypertension knowledge, attitudes, behaviors.

About the National Alliance for Hispanic Health

The National Alliance for Hispanic Health is the nation's foremost source of information and trusted advocate for the health of Hispanics in the United States. The Alliance represents thousands of Hispanic health providers across the nation providing services to more than 14 million each year, making a daily difference in the lives of Hispanic communities and families. For more information, visit or call the Alliance's Su Familia National Hispanic Family Health Helpline at 1-866-783-2645.

About Little Havana Activities and Nutrition Centers (Miami, Florida)

Founded in 1972 with only three employees and a small, narrow office, the Little Havana Activities and Nutrition Centers of Dade County, Inc. has grown into one of the area's largest providers of social services to socially isolated and economically disadvantaged persons in the South Florida area. Today, the Little Havana Activities and Nutrition Centers operate not only a new, spacious and functional building, but also 21 multi-service centers with congregate meals program in Miami, Miami Beach, Hialeah and other unincorporated Dade County area, which serve over 54,000 people annually.

SOURCE National Alliance for Hispanic Health
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