Although we advocate optimal health for patients of all races, for minority health awareness month, we’re talking about some of the most common health conditions that affect minority communities in America. Today, we’re looking at the Hispanic population.
In this article, we will discuss three health conditions that commonly affect Hispanic communities in the United States.
High Blood Pressure
Found commonly in the Hispanic population, high blood pressure results from long-term force of blood against the walls of the arteries, according to the Mayo Clinic. If levels are high enough, high blood pressure can even cause various forms of heart diseases.
The Mayo Clinic also lays out a generally clear way of reading blood pressure, advising that it is composed of two numbers. The first number is systolic, and it measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats. The second number is diastolic, and it indicates the amount of pressure between beats. The National Institute of Aging considers a healthy blood pressure reading to be 120/80 for most adults. High blood pressure levels, and what is commonly found among Hispanic populations, sits around 130/80, or even higher.
According to the CDC, there are several risk factors that can increase the risk of developing high blood pressure:
- Unhealthy diet
- Lack of physical activity
- Frequent alcohol use
- Tobacco use
- Genetics and family history
There are also medications that regulate blood pressure. Depending on the patient’s condition, the doctor can create a treatment plan that is individualized to regulate healthier blood pressure.
It is important to remember high blood pressure doesn’t have symptoms, so regular checkups can help get an idea of blood pressure levels. Checkups can also include other, life saving screenings to detect cancer early.
According to the American Cancer Society, cancer is the leading cause of death among Hispanic people, estimated to be 20% of deaths among the population. Hispanic people are at a higher risk for developing the following cancers: liver, stomach, and cervix.
Moreover, the American Cancer Society discovered the risk of being diagnosed with cancer often increases with age. So about 1 in 3 Hispanic adults will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, and sadly 1 in 5 men and 1 in 7 women will die from the disease
What’s worse, the American Cancer Society has found that Hispanic men and women are generally less likely to be diagnosed at an early stage leading to higher cancer deaths.
And while cancer cannot be completely prevented, screenings can help find the disease in its early stages, leading to a better prognosis. In addition, taking proactive measures recommended by a health care provider can help reduce cancer risks for Hispanic men and women significantly.
In a study from 2017-2018, the CDC found obesity affects around 44.8% of Hispanic adults in the United States. Over time, obesity rates have risen due to some factors, such as access to fast food and living a sedentary lifestyle.
Moreover, the Office of Minority Health found roughly 78.8% of Hispanic American women are overweight compared to 64% of non-Hispanic white women.
In terms of risk factors, there are many that can be changed, such as a lack of physical activity, an unhealthy diet, and personal environment. But there are also some factors that cannot be changed.
- Family history
These risk factors can increase the risk of obesity in anyone, but research has shown the Hispanic population as more likely to be obese compared to non-Hispanic individuals.
Fortunately, most of the time, obesity can be prevented by taking steps to make healthy lifestyle choices that decrease the risk of obesity. A health care provider can help patients create an effective plan to help prevent obesity from occurring and progressing in severity.
We are here for you
Although these conditions may be more common among Hispanic populations, they are in no way inevitable. Deliberate lifestyle changes can be made to combat them. Moreover, working with a provider who can work with you to make these positive changes can make all the difference.
At MCR Health we are dedicated to making sure everyone has access to reliable and quality health care. So contact us, so we can collaborate to keep you healthy and strong regardless of common conditions.