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Public Health Rep. 1996; 111(Suppl 2): 7–10.
PMCID: PMC1381652

Hypertension and other cardiovascular disease risk factors among Mexican Americans, Cuban Americans, and Puerto Ricans from the Hispanic Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.


DESPITE THEIR HIGHER PREVALENCE of obesity and diabetes, Hispanics have lower or equal rates of hypertension than non-Hispanic whites (1-4). Healthy People 2000 objectives call for increasing the proportion of hypertensive men whose blood pressure is under control to at least 40%. In addition, the objectives recommend reducing the prevalence of overweight to 41% among hypertensive women, and to 35% among hypertensive men (5). The Hispanic Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (HHANES) collected data on Mexican Americans (MA), Cuban Americans (CA), and Puerto Ricans (PR) living in the continental United States. A trained physician measured systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressure twice in one visit. Our findings provide data to assess baseline estimates for several Healthy People 2000 objectives among Hispanics. Based on criteria from The Fifth Report of the Joint National Committee on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC-V), we found Hispanic women to have higher rates of awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension than men. Only 8% of MA and PR men and 9% of CA men who were hypertensive had their high blood pressure under control. The prevalence of overweight among hypertensive men ranged from 39% to 60%; and among hypertensive women, from 44% to 74%. Hispanic women with six or fewer years of education had higher prevalence of hypertension and other cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. Future research should investigate the socioeconomic factors associated with the presence of these risk factors.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Ramírez EA. Cardiovascular health in Puerto Ricans compared to other population groups in the United States. Ethn Dis. 1991 Spring;1(2):188–199. [PubMed]
  • Mitchell BD, Stern MP, Haffner SM, Hazuda HP, Patterson JK. Risk factors for cardiovascular mortality in Mexican Americans and non-Hispanic whites. San Antonio Heart Study. Am J Epidemiol. 1990 Mar;131(3):423–433. [PubMed]
  • Pappas G, Gergen PJ, Carroll M. Hypertension prevalence and the status of awareness, treatment, and control in the Hispanic Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (HHANES), 1982-84. Am J Public Health. 1990 Dec;80(12):1431–1436. [PubMed]
  • Haffner SM, Mitchell BD, Stern MP, Hazuda HP, Patterson JK. Decreased prevalence of hypertension in Mexican-Americans. Hypertension. 1990 Sep;16(3):225–234. [PubMed]

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