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Is Ethnicity a Factor in Heart Disease? Heart Disease in Hispanic Women

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When it comes to risk factors for heart disease, is your ethnic heritage really a risk factor in developing heart disease? Does race really matter? Are you at a greater risk for developing heart disease simply because of the color of you skin?

The answer is of some interest to me. I come from a melting pot family of seven children - three girls and four boys (And no, my parents weren’t Catholic – there just apparently wasn’t a lot to do in the winter time in a one horse town in the middle of west Texas!) Of the seven of us, one sister is Hispanic and one brother is African-American in their ethnic heritage. The rest of us are Irish-German-Dutch-Scots (you get the picture – we’re just plain American mongrel mutts). We also have a strong history of heart disease and heart disease risk factors – obesity, chronic high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels (even when we weigh a proper amount), and family history of death due to heart disease.

You know siblings – we share and share alike (well, sometimes we share!). While we may have different ethnic heritages, unfortunately we do share many of the same risk factors for heart disease. As the leader-of-the-pack, it fell to me to find out just how the things that we don’t share (like race) may tip the heart attack scales for some of us. Since one of my beloved sisters is Hispanic, I wanted to look at the impact of race, if any, for Hispanic women when it comes to developing heart related disease.

Conventional medical thought has been that for women in particular, race does matter. Consider the following facts from the American Heart Association about heart disease in Hispanic women:

•Leading cause of death for all Hispanics (men and women combined).
•For women, heart related disease is responsible for more than 32 percent of all deaths in Hispanic women.
•Almost 30 percent of Hispanic women have already developed heart disease by age 20.

When it comes to risk factors for heart disease, Hispanic woman don’t fare well as all:

•Obesity – More than 70 percent of Hispanic women are overweight by age 20.

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EmpowHER Guest

When it comes to cardivascular diseases, Does race matter?

posted on: sat,nov 2010
posted by : manuheart123
Cardio Vascular Disease, the disease of the heart and blood vessels, is one of the leading causes of death known today. A low level of vitamin D is an independent risk factor for CVD. Even younger people also become victims of this deadly disease.

A survey was conducted among rural women, 27% African American and 74% White, to examine relationships among race, cardio vascular risk factors, physical characteristics and socioeconomic status. It was revealed that African American women in the study were significantly less educated and had a lower income and a higher Body Mass Index (BMI), than the White women. The Black women had a higher incidence of cardio vascular disease as compared to the White women.

link:- http://www.heart-consult.com/articles/does-race-matter

November 19, 2010 - 10:29pm

Kudos to you on a great post! I am a cardiac nurse practitioner who has worked in a women's heart center for the past 3 years screening women for heart disease, stroke and diabetes risk factors. About a year ago we started a Hispanic initiative to help increase awareness among Hispanic women. I co-authored a book "Tome Contol De Su Salud" in spanish to help get the message out to Hispanic men and women. Our book should be released in a couple of weeks - please let me know if you are aware of any groups we should contact to help get the word out. Keep up the Great Work!

August 5, 2010 - 3:06pm
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