JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Avoiding the looming Latino/Hispanic cardiovascular health crisis: a call to action

Jaime A Davidson, William B Kannel, Angel Lopez-Candales, Leo Morales, Pedro R Moreno, Fernando Ovalle, Carlos Jose Rodriguez, Helena W Rodbard, Robert S Rosenson, Michael Stern
Ethnicity & Disease 2007, 17 (3): 568-73
17985515

CONTEXT: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death among the largest and fastest growing ethnic minority in the United States, Latinos/Hispanics. CVD risk factors such as metabolic syndrome, obesity, and diabetes are prevalent in Latinos/Hispanics at alarming rates. It is therefore imperative to understand this population's risk of CVD and the most effective and culturally sensitive treatment methods.

OBJECTIVES: To review recent findings on the prevalence of CVD, CVD risk factors, and related illnesses in the US Latino/Hispanic population, and discuss gaps in the current knowledge. To summon a call for greater action on the part of governmental agencies, pharmaceutical companies, academia, industry media, professional and community organizations to address the escalating health problem of CVD and related illnesses, such as diabetes, in the Latino/Hispanic population.

DATA SOURCES: An extensive PubMed and Internet literature search for studies published from January 1995 to July 2005 was conducted, using a combination of search terms (cardiovascular disease, CVD, Latino, Hispanic, prevention, guidelines, clinical trials, interventions).

STUDY SELECTION: Studies meeting initial search criteria were distilled using the date of publication, study population size, and specific relevance to the topic being reviewed.

DATA EXTRACTION: Data validity was assessed based on the quality of the source (large sample size, government agencies, major publications) and a consensus of the authors on perceived validity.

DATA SYNTHESIS: The review found limitations in current research as well as treatment methods and options for Latinos/Hispanics at risk for developing CVD and related illnesses.

CONCLUSIONS: Due to limitations in current data and trials and public health concern, additional research needs to be conducted to fully determine the best predictors of CVD and diabetes in Latino/Hispanic patients. A combined effort on the part of health-influencing and health-governing bodies is needed on all levels in order to address the CVD problem in the Latino/Hispanic population.

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