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Hispanic Health: CDC Vitalsigns

Hispanic Health: CDC Vitalsigns

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Health risks differ among Hispanics.

Hispanics have different degrees of illness or health risks than whites.

  • 35% less heart disease and 49% less cancer;
  • A lower death rate overall, but about a 50% higher death rate from diabetes;
  • 24% more poorly controlled high blood pressure;
  • 23% more obesity;
  • 28% less colorectal screening.

Hispanic subgroups have different degrees of health risk and more need to receive preventive screenings as recommended.

  • Mexicans and Puerto Ricans are about twice as likely to die from diabetes as whites. Mexicans also are nearly twice as likely to die from chronic liver disease and cirrhosis as whites.
  • Smoking overall among Hispanics (14%) is less common than among whites (24%), but is high among Puerto Rican males (26%) and Cuban males (22%).*
  • Colorectal cancer screening varies for Hispanics ages 50 to 75 years.
    • About 40% of Cubans get screened (29% of men and 49% of women);
    • About 58% of Puerto Ricans get screened (54% of men and 61% of women).
  • Hispanics are as likely as whites to have high blood pressure. But Hispanic women with high blood pressure are twice as likely as Hispanic men to get it under control.

Whether Hispanics were born in the US makes a difference.

  • Cancers related to infections (cervical, stomach, and liver) are more common among Hispanics born in another country.
  • Compared with US-born Hispanics, foreign-born Hispanics have:
    • About half as much heart disease;
    • 48% less cancer;
    • 29% less high blood pressure;
    • 45% more high total cholesterol.
  • Social factors may play a major role in Hispanic health. Among Hispanics living in the US:
    • About 1 in 3 has not completed high school;
    • About 1 in 4 lives below the poverty line;
    • About 1 in 3 does not speak English well.

*National Health Interview Survey data, 2009-2013 combined, for ages 18-64 years.

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