These diseases are leading causes of death in Hispanics, officials say

Hispanics see higher death rates in chronic liver, kidney diseases, cirrhosis

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

In a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, experts evaluated health trends in Hispanics across the world.

The study was the first done nationally on Hispanic health risks and leading causes of death in the United States.

Similar to nonwhite Hispanics, the leading causes of death in Hispanics are heart disease and cancer.

However, though fewer Hispanics than white people die from the 10 leading causes of death, the CDC saw higher death rates in Hispanics when it came to chronic liver disease, cirrhosis and kidney disease.

Hispanics in the U.S. are almost 15 years younger on average than whites, and they are three times as likely to be uninsured, so experts say it’s important for Hispanics to learn about their risk factors and take steps to protect their health.

“By not smoking and staying physically active, such as walking briskly for 30 minutes a day, Hispanics can reduce their risk for these chronic diseases and others such as diabetes,” said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden. “Health professionals can help Hispanics protect their health by learning about their specific risk factors and addressing barriers to care.”

The study showed foreign-born Hispanics have better health and fewer health risks than U.S.-born Hispanics for things like cancer, heart disease, obesity, hypertension and smoking.

The four different degrees of health risks among Hispanics by country of origin, according to the CDC, are:

  • Puerto Ricans and Mexicans are almost twice as likely as whites to die from diabetes. Mexicans also are about twice as likely as whites to die from chronic liver disease and cirrhosis.
  • Smoking among Hispanics, at 14%, is less common than among whites, at 24%, but is high among Puerto Rican and Cuban males, at 26% and 22%, respectively.
  • Hispanics are as likely as whites to have high blood pressure. However, the study showed Hispanic women who have high blood pressure are twice as likely as Hispanic men to get it under control.

“This report reinforces the need to sustain strong community, public health and health care linkages that support Hispanic health,” said CDC Associate Director for Minority Health and Health Equity Dr. Leandris C. Liburd.

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About the Author:

Dawn Jorgenson, Graham Media Group Branded Content Managing Editor, began working with the group in April 2013. She graduated from Texas State University with a degree in electronic media.