Uncontrolled Blood Pressure Highest Among Hispanics

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National Alliance for Hispanic Health is launching a new national program called Hypertension ... Control is in your Hands, with the goal of raising awareness of hypertension (high blood pressure), promoting prevention, and helping Hispanic adults bring their high blood pressure under control. The Alliance is conducting education and blood pressure screening events in Miami in collaboration with the Little Havana Activities and Nutrition Centers of Dade County, Inc.

"It's of great concern that there is a significant proportion of the Hispanic population with hypertension who are unaware of their condition and do not have their high blood pressure under control," said Dr. Jane L. Delgado, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health. "As part of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Alliance and our partners are going to make a difference by launching a series of community education and blood pressure screening events that will improve health and save lives."

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that Hispanics with hypertension are less likely to be aware of their condition. Among Mexican American adults with hypertension, only about half (49.8%) are aware of their condition and are less likely to have their hypertension under control (17.3%) compared to non-Hispanic blacks (29.8%) and non-Hispanic whites (29.8%) with high blood pressure.

While hypertension rates are lower among Mexican Americans, research from the Institute of Medicine and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute is raising concern that rates may increase after the first generation as Hispanics adopt unhealthy habits, including dietary practices. According to CDC, the age-adjusted prevalence of hypertension is 40.5% among non-Hispanic blacks, 27.4% for non-Hispanic whites, and 25.1% among Mexican Americans.

In addition to Hispanic Heritage Month hypertension screening events in San Ysidro, CA, Miami, FL, New York, NY, and San Antonio, TX, the Alliance announced the availability of personalized free information by calling the Alliance's Su Familia National Hispanic Family Health Helpline (1-866-SU-FAMILIA or 1-866-783-2645). Callers can get basic information on hypertension and referral to health care providers where they live. In addition, as part of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Alliance is offering callers a free pocket- card for tracking their blood pressure, including key questions patients should ask their health care provider about hypertension.

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