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Although the leading cause of death among Hispanics living in the United States (US) is cardiovascular disease (CVD), the association between Hispanic ethnicity and CVD has been scarcely explored.


To examine whether being Hispanic is associated with an increased risk of CVD compared with the non-Hispanic US adult population in 2013.


Secondary data analysis of a cross-sectional 2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey in 2013 (n=486,905). The main exposure variable was Hispanic ethnicity (Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban or Spanish origin) and the main outcome variable was self-reported CVD (myocardial infarction/coronary artery disease/angina). The main covariates were sex, age, education, income, healthcare access, exercise, body mass index, current smoking, heavy drinking, diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia. Unadjusted and adjusted logistic regressions were used to assess the effect between ethnicity and self-reported CVD. Odds ratios (OR) and 99% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated.


In total, 12% of the study participants were Hispanic (n=57,257). Approximately 24% of Hispanics were 25-34 y/o while (21%) of non-Hispanic were >65 y/o. After adjustment, Hispanics were 30% less likely to report CVD compared with non-Hispanics (OR=0.7; 99%; CI=0.6-0.8). Compared with men, women had a 40% decreased risk of having CVD (OR=0.60; 99% CI=0.5-0.6). Advanced age, lower educational attainment, income <$15,000/year, lack of exercise, smoking, non-heavy drinking, diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia increased statistically significantly the likelihood of reporting CVD.


The findings suggest that, in general, Hispanics residing in the US are significantly less likely to self-declare if they had a CVD compared with non-Hispanic Americans. These data suggest that although Hispanics are generally poorer and have less access to education and health services, their self-perceived health is better than in non-Hispanic residents of the US.


Originally published in Revista Ecuatoriana de Neurologia.



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