Uncontrolled Blood Pressure Highest Among Hispanics, Prompting New National Hypertension Project

Thursday, September 13, 2007 General News
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 The National Alliance forHispanic Health (the Alliance) is launching a new national program calledHypertension ... Control is in your Hands (Presion alta ... El control esta entus manos) with the goal of raising awareness of hypertension (high bloodpressure), promoting prevention, and helping Hispanic adults bring their highblood pressure under control.

The Alliance is conducting education and blood pressure screening eventsin collaboration with major community-based organizations in Miami, FL; NewYork, NY; San Antonio, TX; and San Ysidro, CA. The program is supported by aneducational grant from Novartis.

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

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that Hispanicswith hypertension are less likely to be aware of their condition. AmongMexican American adults with hypertension, only about half (49.8%) are awareof their condition and are less likely to have their hypertension undercontrol (17.3%) compared to non-Hispanic blacks (29.8%) and non-Hispanicwhites (29.8%) with high blood pressure.

While hypertension rates are lower among Mexican Americans, research fromthe Institute of Medicine and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute israising concern that rates may increase after the first generation asHispanics adopt unhealthy habits, including dietary practices. According toCDC, the age-adjusted prevalence of hypertension is 40.5% among non-Hispanicblacks, 27.4% for non-Hispanic whites, and 25.1% among Mexican Americans.

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

According to Dr. Delgado, "knowing your blood pressure is one of the mostimportant steps you can take para su salud."

About the Hypertension ... Control is in your Hands initiative

The CEH initiative is designed to increase awareness, prevention, andtreatment for hypertension in the Hispanic community. This one-year initiativefocuses on the development of targeted materials, providing information topatients and providers through the National Alliance for Hispanic Health'sbilingual Su Familia Helpline, and conducting an assessment of hypertensionknowledge, attitudes, behaviors.

About the National Alliance for Hispanic Health

The National Alliance for Hispanic Health is the nation's foremost sourceof information and trusted advocate for the health of Hispanics in the UnitedStates. The Alliance represents thousands of Hispanic health providers acrossthe nation providing services to more than 14 million each year, making adaily difference in the lives of Hispanic communities and families. For moreinformation, visit http://www.hispanichealth.org or call the Alliance's SuFamilia National Hispanic Family Health Helpline at 1-866-783-2645.

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