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Nation’s Largest Study Of Hispanic Health Gets Underway

Aired 12/8/11 on KPBS News.

The nation's largest study focusing on Hispanic health has been launched in San Diego, Chicago, Miami, and the Bronx.

— Four thousand Latinos in San Diego are taking part in the nation's largest study of Hispanic health. Study participants range in age from 18 to 74.

The study is designed to provide extensive information about the health status and disease burden of Latinos in America.

SDSU professor of public health Gregory Talavera is one of the study's principal investigators. He said all participants have had their blood drawn, their physical activity measured, and their DNA collected.

"So we have this profile now at baseline, and our goal is follow them for years, hopefully decades in the future, to see what changes and what happens over time," Dr. Talavera said.

The study will try to answer why Hispanics tend to have many risk factors for heart disease, but have fewer heart attacks and strokes than the general population. Researchers call this the Hispanic paradox.

Sixteen thousand Hispanics are enrolled in the study nationwide. Besides San Diego, the other study sites are Miami, Chicago, and the Bronx, NY.

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