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Study Reveals Most Latinos Have Two Or More Risk Factors For Heart Disease

Aired 3/3/14 on KPBS News.

The nation’s largest study of Latino health reveals most Hispanics have a high profile for heart disease.

The nation’s largest study of Latino health reveals most Hispanics have a high profile for heart disease.

The study involves more than 16,000 Latinos nationwide. Participants were recruited in San Diego, Miami, the Bronx and Chicago.

The study measures the prevalence of a variety of cardiovascular risk factors among Latinos, including obesity, diabetes, and smoking.

Principal investigator Gregory Talavera, professor at the San Diego State Graduate School of Public Health professor Gregory Talavera, said the study reveals most Latinos have two or more risk factors for heart disease.

“Things like higher rates of diabetes, higher rates of obesity, more hypertension that’s not under control, and lower rates of being insured and access to care," he explained.

But Talavera added Latinos’ rates of heart attack and stroke are lower than the general population. This phenomenon is part of what's called the Latino paradox.

The study was launched in part to find out why. It's funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Talavera and his colleagues are compiling genetic and behavioral information that should shed some light on the subject.

Researchers are planning to follow the participants for decades.

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