Hispanic women at higher risk for heart disease

March 02, 2007

ORLANDO, Fla., March 2 -- Hispanic women's heart disease risk is comparable to the heart disease risk level of Caucasian women who are about a decade older. This disagrees with a long-held belief that Hispanic women have less heart disease than Caucasian women, researchers reported today at the American Heart Association's 47th Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention.

"The prevailing theme in medicine has been that Hispanic patients have fewer heart attacks and strokes than Caucasians, even though Hispanics seem to have equal, if not worse, cardiac risk factors and tend to be more socio-economically deprived," said John C. Teeters, M.D., study lead author and fellow in the department of cardiology, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY. "In clinical practice, however, we see the opposite, with Hispanic patients who seem to have heart disease earlier than Caucasians."

To explain the disparity, researchers have raised questions about the quality of Hispanic population census gathering in the United States, wondering if Hispanics are underrepresented in the census and health records because they tend to migrate back to their homelands to die and are more likely to be illegal immigrants.

To compare heart disease risk among the ethnic populations, Teeters and colleagues conducted a series of free community health screenings at churches, community centers and outpatient clinics that cater to Hispanics. They performed medical histories to determine cardiac risk, as well as measured each subject's waist circumference, activity level, weight, height, blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol level. They gathered the same data in a Caucasian group of people and compared data among the women in the study.

There were 79 Hispanic and 91 Caucasian adult women in the study. The average age in the Hispanic group was 53, versus 63 years in the Caucasian group. Sixty-one percent of the Hispanic women were postmenopausal versus 85 percent of the Caucasian women.

When combined, the heart disease risk for the two groups was about the same, according to Teeters.

"If you look at prevalence by age, there is a clear trend for Hispanics towards increased prevalence at a younger age, with earlier onset in Hispanic women for these cardiac risk factors," he said.

While the women scored similarly in the areas of hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol and waist circumference, the researchers found that the Hispanic women's prehypertension rate (32 percent) was significantly higher than Caucasian women (19 percent). The Hispanic women's activity levels were also significantly lower when compared to the Caucasian women, and Hispanic women had a slightly higher rate of metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of cardiovascular disease and diabetes risk factors including excess waist circumference, high blood pressure, elevated triglycerides, low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and high fasting glucose levels. The presence of three or more of the factors increases a person's risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

"The study suggests that Hispanic women develop cardiac risk factors earlier than their Caucasian counterparts and that being Hispanic could be an independent risk factor for heart disease among women," Teeters said.

Doctors should consider more aggressively treating and trying to prevent heart disease at earlier ages, Teeter said. Teeters and colleagues plan to study these patients prospectively to determine if early and aggressive heart disease therapy and lifestyle changes reduce Hispanics' lifetime cardiac risk.
-end-
FOR RELEASE: 4 p.m. EST, Friday March 2, 2007

Note: Presentation time is 4:45-6:45 p.m. EST, Friday, March 2, 2007.

Co-authors are Gladys P. Velarde, M.D.; Jason Pacos, M.D.; Susan Hume, N.P.; Cynthia Petit, R.N., B.S.N. and Jeff Huntress, Pharm.D.

Outreach clinics were funded by Pfizer Inc.; however, Pfizer did not fund data analysis or have any input into presentation of the data.

Statements and conclusions of abstract authors that are presented at American Heart Association/American Stroke Association scientific meetings are solely those of the abstract authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The associations make no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability.

American Heart Association

Related Diabetes Articles from Brightsurf:

New diabetes medication reduced heart event risk in those with diabetes and kidney disease
Sotagliflozin - a type of medication known as an SGLT2 inhibitor primarily prescribed for Type 2 diabetes - reduces the risk of adverse cardiovascular events for patients with diabetes and kidney disease.

Diabetes drug boosts survival in patients with type 2 diabetes and COVID-19 pneumonia
Sitagliptin, a drug to lower blood sugar in type 2 diabetes, also improves survival in diabetic patients hospitalized with COVID-19, suggests a multicenter observational study in Italy.

Making sense of diabetes
Throughout her 38-year nursing career, Laurel Despins has progressed from a bedside nurse to a clinical nurse specialist and has worked in medical, surgical and cardiac intensive care units.

Helping teens with type 1 diabetes improve diabetes control with MyDiaText
Adolescence is a difficult period of development, made more complex for those with Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM).

Diabetes-in-a-dish model uncovers new insights into the cause of type 2 diabetes
Researchers have developed a novel 'disease-in-a-dish' model to study the basic molecular factors that lead to the development of type 2 diabetes, uncovering the potential existence of major signaling defects both inside and outside of the classical insulin signaling cascade, and providing new perspectives on the mechanisms behind insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes and possibly opportunities for the development of novel therapeutics for the disease.

Tele-diabetes to manage new-onset diabetes during COVID-19 pandemic
Two new case studies highlight the use of tele-diabetes to manage new-onset type 1 diabetes in an adult and an infant during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Genetic profile may predict type 2 diabetes risk among women with gestational diabetes
Women who go on to develop type 2 diabetes after having gestational, or pregnancy-related, diabetes are more likely to have particular genetic profiles, suggests an analysis by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions.

Maternal gestational diabetes linked to diabetes in children
Children and youth of mothers who had gestational diabetes during pregnancy are at increased risk of diabetes themselves, according to new research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Two diabetes medications don't slow progression of type 2 diabetes in youth
In youth with impaired glucose tolerance or recent-onset type 2 diabetes, neither initial treatment with long-acting insulin followed by the drug metformin, nor metformin alone preserved the body's ability to make insulin, according to results published online June 25 in Diabetes Care.

People with diabetes visit the dentist less frequently despite link between diabetes, oral health
Adults with diabetes are less likely to visit the dentist than people with prediabetes or without diabetes, finds a new study led by researchers at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing and East Carolina University's Brody School of Medicine.

Read More: Diabetes News and Diabetes Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.