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Public Health Rep. 1996; 111(Suppl 2): 25–26.
PMCID: PMC1381657

Hypertension in Hispanic Americans: overview of the population.

Abstract

THE 23 MILLION HISPANICS IN THE UNITED STATES represent a mosaic of varied ethnic groups, and many share ancestry and language. They comprise one of the fastest-growing segments of the U.S. population. Social, cultural, and physical differences between Hispanics and non-Hispanics and among Hispanic subgroups affect the health of this population. Hispanics exhibit several risk factors for major health problems in differing levels from other populations. Most notably, Mexican Americans are 3 to 5 times more likely to have non-insulin-dependent diabetes than whites. Because of health factors and other distinguishing qualities, the health care establishment needs to do more research, especially on hypertension, and provide more culturally responsive health care for Hispanics. Surveys conducted in the early and mid-1980s show differing rates of hypertension among Hispanic groups, from lower levels to levels similar to those found in whites. Additional research is needed to identify the extent of hypertension incidence, awareness, and control in Hispanics, particularly among sub-groups. If hypertension rates are indeed lower than those in the general population, efforts should be made to identify and maintain the positive behaviors responsible.

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