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What Latinos should know about their health

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Blog Health Information

/ by UK HealthCare

April is National Minority Health Month, a time to raise awareness about the specific needs of minority communities and work toward equality in healthcare.

In particular, the Latino community has several health concerns that are notable compared to the overall American population, researchers say.

Latinos as a group are healthier than other Americans in some ways, including heart disease (35 percent less) and cancer (49 percent less).

However, Latinos are more vulnerable in other areas. If you are of Latino descent, here are seven areas where you should be especially vigilant:

  1. Blood pressure: As compared with other Americans, 24 percent more Latinos have problems with high blood pressure. Here are some ways to keep blood pressure under control.
  2. Type 2 diabetes: Statistics show that Latinos are 65 percent more likely to be diabetic than non-Hispanic white people. Half of Latinos are at risk, and their age when they are diagnosed is typically six years younger than for white Americans. These tips can help lower your chances of getting diabetes.
  3. Obesity: Obesity is a national problem, but Latinos are 15 percent more likely to be obese. Getting active and staying active helps maintain healthy weight.
  4. Lung diseases: Latinos are twice as likely to have asthma and six times as likely to have tuberculosis.
  5. Cervical cancer: While the cervical cancer death rate has dropped because of increased use of the Pap test, which helps catch cervical cancer early, Latino women are most likely to get this cancer. Their chances of being newly diagnosed are 45 percent higher, and their chances of dying of cervical cancer are 40 percent higher.
  6. Liver disease: Latinos are 15 percent more likely to have liver disease.
  7. HIV: In 2016, 9,766 Latinos were diagnosed with HIV infection. Latinos are diagnosed with HIV 2.5 times as often, and they are 2.5 times more likely to die of it.

Your healthcare provider can help watch for signs of these problems, offer strategies for prevention and provide screening tests that give early warnings about serious conditions.