Hispanics and Latinos living in the U.S. are highly likely to have several major cardiovascular disease risk factors, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and smoking, according to a new, large-scale study. Risks vary among the diverse Hispanic/Latino groups, but individuals who were born in the U.S. are more likely to have multiple risk factors.
The findings are reported in the Nov. 7 issue of JAMA.
Hispanic and Latino people now comprise the largest minority group in the U.S. Although this population is relatively young, cardiovascular diseases are already their leading cause of death -- and the group is at high risk of future cardiovascular disease as it becomes older.
The data came from 15,079 Hispanic/Latino men and women who participated in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL).
"We found that U.S. Hispanic/Latino prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors had been underestimated," says Dr. Martha Daviglus, director of the Institute for Minority Health Research at the University of Illinois at Chicago and first author of the JAMA report.
A "very large" proportion of study participants -- 80 percent of men and 71 percent of women -- were found to have at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease, said Daviglus, who is principal investigator of the Chicago HCHS/SOL Field Center.