This paper has addressed the factors that contribute to cardiovascular disease among the Hispanics living in the United States. A comprehensive review of peer-reviewed journals was made to collect as much relevant information as possible. It was found that the risk factors for cardiovascular disease among Hispanics are poor diet, lack of physical exercise, smoking, obesity, and type-2 diabetes. The clinical implications of this trend are that more finances are geared towards addressing cardiovascular disease.
This paper has addressed the prevalence and risk factors for cardiovascular disease among Hispanics living in the United States of America. A close reference to their lifestyle before and after migration to the US has been made to identify the relationship between their culture and cardiovascular disease.
The aim of this paper is to identify the risk factors for cardiovascular disease among Hispanics living in the United States.
Information that was used to develop this paper was gathered by reviewing as many peer-reviewed articles as possible. Focus shifted towards the journals that had relevant information on cardiovascular disease among the Hispanic group. Each team member took the responsibility of coming up with at least eight journals. These journals were sourced from the university’s electronic library. Efforts were made to ensure that only peer-reviewed journals were used in the development of this paper.
In a study conducted by the American Diabetes Association (2010), it was revealed that lifestyle is the primary cause of cardiovascular disease among the Hispanic minority group. The behavior and character of the Hispanics before and after migration to the US determine the rate at which the Hispanics will be diagnosed with cardiovascular disease. Some of the lifestyle factors that were identified as being the risk factors causing cardiovascular disease were changes in the diet, smoking, poor physical exercise, obesity, coronary heart disease, diabetes type-2, and changes in the economic status (American Diabetes Association, 2010).
According to Crimmins, Kim, Alley, Karlamangla, and Seeman (2009), the diet of many Americans has drastically changed over the years. More emphasis is now being made on junk food, which has imbalanced nutritional components (American Diabetes Association, 2010). The case is not different from the Hispanics; their daily diet is reported to contain more calories, with little or no vitamins and minerals (Crimmins et al., 2009). It has been argued that this could be attributed to the fact that the cost of vegetables, as well as fresh fruits, has increased over the years. The cost of living has increased as well, which translates into a situation where the Hispanics with low income cannot afford fresh vegetables on a daily basis. Crimmins et al. (2009) add that there has been an inconsistency in the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables in the market. Changes in climate and the introduction of various agricultural policies are to blame for the variations in the availability of fresh vegetables and fruits (Crimmins et al., 2009).
The number of food vendors has increased drastically in modern America. It has been found that a majority of Hispanics prefer foods from these providers because the vendors offer goods that are not expensive (Daviglus et al., 2012). However, the danger is that these products are normally junk food that is full of calories. It lacks vital nutritional elements such as vitamins and proteins (American Diabetes Association, 2010). The result is that the risk of contracting cardiovascular disease becomes elevated due to the consistent consumption of junk food. In a study conducted by Daviglus et al. (2012), it was found out that Hispanics culturally prefer dishes with red meat and meat products in general. It means that the Hispanics would go for food with more ham than vegetables (Daviglus et al., 2012). Red meat has been associated with increased chances of cardiovascular disease (American Diabetes Association, 2010). Besides, the same report indicated that white bread, processed foods, as well as soft drinks, top the list of the preferred products by the Hispanics in the US (Daviglus et al., 2012). Therefore, it is evident that the choice of diet for Hispanics contributes significantly to the prevalence of the cardiovascular disease.
Tobacco has been linked with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Tobacco smokers put themselves at the risk of contracting many illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease. According to Flegal, Carroll, Ogden, and Curtin (2010), most Hispanics are smokers, given that it is a practice that they embrace; both Hispanic men and women smoke tobacco. Statistics indicate that more than 40% of Hispanic men are chronic smokers (Flegal et al., 2010). Men in their middle ages are the main part of smokers, with a rate of 61% having this habit. About 25% of Hispanic women smoke on a daily basis (Flegal et al., 2010). According to Keenan and Rosendorf (2011), 27.3% of Hispanic men in the US are heavy smokers; it means that they consume more than 20 cigarettes in one day. These are shocking statistics, given the fact that chronic smoking predisposes one to the risk of cardiovascular disease (Keenan & Rosendorf, 2011). According to Lavange et al. (2010), the risky practice among most Hispanics is to blame for the increased rate of tobacco smoking. Drug abuse is abundant among the Hispanics in their middle ages, which explains why a majority of Hispanics are heavy smokers, despite the prevailing danger of contracting a cardiovascular disease (Lavange et al., 2010).
According to Lombardi, Mercuro, Fini, and Rosano (2010), the lack of enough physical activity is attributed to an increase in the risk of contracting the cardiovascular disease by about 19% in comparison to individuals who engage in frequent and healthy activities. Lombardi et al. (2010) explain that the choice of a sedentary lifestyle among the majority of Hispanics makes them unhealthy. Both Hispanic adults and children are becoming physically inactive. The increased availability and lack of guidance on the use of video games, as well as television programs, has contributed significantly to the sedentary lifestyle among Hispanic children. According to Morales, Leng, and Escarce (2011), the lack of proper physical exercise contributes to obesity, which increases the chances of contracting cardiovascular disease. However, Morales et al. (2011) say that the lack of access to recreational facilities could be attributed to the decline in physical activities among Hispanics. A majority of the cities in the US are congested to the point where there is less space for recreational purposes (American Diabetes Association, 2010). According to Morales et al. (2011), the available gym parlors in the cities are expensive for the majority of Hispanics. Therefore, inadequate physical exercises among Hispanics become an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Poor diet mainly causes obesity, coupled with a lack of regular physical exercise (Pena, Patel, Leyva, Khan, & Sperling, 2012). The fact that Hispanics have been reported to have a preference for foods that are not balanced puts them at a higher risk of becoming obese and developing cardiovascular disease as a result. According to Pena et al. (2012), 24.6% of Hispanic women and 14.9% of men are obese. It is an indication that Hispanic women are at a higher risk of being diagnosed with cardiovascular disease (Pena et al., 2012). The elderly Hispanics are at a greater danger of becoming obese, which is attributed to the fact that the seniors do not participate in as many physical exercises as the young ones do (Daviglus et al., 2012).
The data available for type-2 diabetes in Hispanics is limited (American Diabetes Association, 2010). However, it has been argued that close to 19.9% of elderly Hispanics have type-2 diabetes (Sharathkumar, Soucie, Trawinski, Greist, & Shapiro, 2011). Also, the lack of regular physical exercise among Hispanics increases their risk of becoming diabetic. People with type-2 diabetes are more predisposed to cardiovascular disease. According to Schargrodsky et al. (2008), it is much easier for diabetic people to acquire coronary heart disease than it is for non-diabetic people.
The level of income has an effect on the lifestyle of an individual (Schargrodsky et al., 2008). The Hispanics with low income have a modest way of living. For instance, they probably walk to their places of work, thereby engaging in physical exercises. On the other hand, Hispanics who have higher than average incomes have extravagant lives (Schargrodsky et al., 2008). Most of them drive themselves to work; thus, they lack the chance to engage in extra exercises. Besides, Hispanics with more income tend to consume more junk food than those with low income, admit Schargrodsky et al. (2008). It indicates that the Hispanics who have higher incomes are more likely to contract a cardiovascular disease than the Hispanics with lower incomes.
The rise in the number of risk factors that Hispanics are predisposed to concern cardiovascular disease has severe clinical practical implications. According to Pena et al. (2012), the number of Hispanics contracting cardiovascular disease will keep increasing, unless steps are taken to curb the rise. It means that the cost of taking care of the patients will go up. More medicines will be required for the treatment of cardiovascular disease (Pena et al., 2012). Patients at advanced stages will have to be admitted to the hospitals, which will call for more hospital beds (Daviglus et al., 2012. More health personnel will be required to attend to the increased cardiovascular disease patients (Pena et al., 2012). There will appear a need for more money directed to the health sector to meet the payments required for the added personnel. According to Morales et al. (2011), the rising cases of cardiovascular disease call for more public education to prevent future instances of the same illness. Conducting training to the public will require more finances that could have been directed to other government departments. Therefore, one can argue that both treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease cases call for more funds from the government.
American Diabetes Association. (2010). Diagnosis and classification of diabetes mellitus. Diabetes Care, 33(Suppl 1), 62-69.
Crimmins, E. M., Kim, J. K., Alley, D. E., Karlamangla, A., & Seeman, T. (2009). The Hispanic paradox in biological risk profiles. American Journal of Public Health, 97(7), 1305-1310.
Daviglus, M. L., Talavera, G. A., Avilés-Santa, M. L., Allison, M., Cai, J., Criqui, M. H., … Stamler, J. (2012). Prevalence of major cardiovascular risk factors and cardiovascular diseases among Hispanic/Latino individuals of diverse backgrounds in the United States. Journal of American Medical Association, 308(17), 1775-1784.
Flegal, K. M., Carroll, M. D., Ogden, C. L., & Curtin, L. R. (2010). Prevalence and trends in obesity among US adults, 1999–2008. Journal of American Medical Association, 303(3), 235–241.
Keenan, N. L., & Rosendorf, K. A. (2011). Prevalence of hypertension and controlled hypertension: the United States, 2005–2008. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), 60(1), 94–97.
Lavange, L. M., Kalsbeek, W. D., Sorlie, P. D., Avilés-Santa, L. M. Kaplan, R. C., Barnhart, J.,… Elder, J. P. (2010). Sample design and cohort selection in the Hispanic community health study/study of Latinos. Annals of Epidemiology, 20(8), 642–649.
Lombardi, M., Mercuro, G., Fini, M., & Rosano, Giuseppe, M. C. (2010). Gender-specific aspects of the treatment of cardiovascular risk factors in primary and secondary prevention. Fundamental & Clinical Pharmacology, 24(6), 699-705.
Morales, L. S., Leng, M., & Escarce, J. J. (2011). Risk of cardiovascular disease in first and second-generation Mexican-Americans. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 13(1), 61–68.
Pena, M. S. B., Patel, D., Leyva, R., Khan, B., & Sperling, L. (2012). Lifestyle risk factors and cardiovascular disease in Cubans and Cuban Americans. Cardiology Research and Practice, 1(1), 1-6.
Schargrodsky, H., Hernández-Hernández, R., Champagne, B. M., Silva, H., Vinueza, R., Silva, A. L. C.,… Wilson, E. (2008). Assessment of cardiovascular risk in seven Latin American cities. American Journal of Medicine, 121(1), 58–65.
Sharathkumar, A. A., Soucie, J. M., Trawinski, B., Greist, A., S., & Shapiro, A. D. (2011). Prevalence and risk factors of cardiovascular disease (CVD) events among patients with hemophilia: experience of a single hemophilia treatment center in the United States (US). Haemophilia, 17(4), 597-604.
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