Largest-ever study of cardiovascular disease among US Latinos finds American-born at greatest risk

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The largest-ever study to examine cardiovascular risk factors among U.S. Latinos from diverse cultural backgrounds was presented this week at the American Heart Association Annual Meeting in Los Angeles.

The Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos found the risk of cardiovascular disease afflicts a majority of U.S. Latinos.

Researchers from San Diego State University and several other national institutions, measured the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes and smoking among more than 16,000 U.S. Latino adults living in New York, Chicago, Miami and San Diego.

Among their findings: participants who were born in the United States or who lived here for more than 10 years were far more likely to have three or more risk factors for coronary disease than those born outside the US.  

The study also found that participants with less education and with annual incomes of less than $20,000 were more likely to have multiple heart disease risk factors than those with higher education and incomes.

Researchers say such findings underscore the need for interventions, especially as the Latino population continues its rapid expansion within the United States.

The study was  funded by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute and is published in the in the current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.