Chicago Latinos Experiencing Higher Health Risks

by Alex Kilpatrick

Chicago Latinos Experiencing Higher Health Risks

A recent national health study of Latinos and Hispanics found that they experience a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes. liposuction and body contouring could be the solution to some of these health concerns for Latinos and Hispanics living in Chicago.

The National Institute of Health recently released findings from the first stage of an ongoing health study, the largest ever of Hispanics and Latinos in the United States, at a community forum at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Conducted from March 2008 to June 2011, the first phase of the Hispanic Community Study/Study of Latinos included results from 16,415 Hispanic and Latino adults, ranging in age from 18 to 74.

More women than men participated in the study, since it is “very difficult to persuade men to come to the study,” Dr. Martha Daviglus, director of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Institute for Minority Health Research and principal investigator of the Chicago Field Center, said, according to InsuranceNews.net.

The participants came from diverse Hispanic and Latino backgrounds, including Central America, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico and South America, and were recruited from communities in four United States cities, including San Diego, Chicago, the Bronx in New York and Miami.

Chicago’s 4,136 participants were recruited from seven communities on the northwest side, including Albany Park, Avondale, Belmont-Craig, Hermosa, Humboldt Park, Irving Park and Logan Square, due to the diversity of socioeconomic conditions and Hispanic population.

“[The participants] had been invited randomly,” Daviglus said, according to InsuranceNews.net. “They were selected by a computer program to randomly invite several addresses and families that lived in that address. So, there was a door to door recruitment. Unfortunately, we couldn’t include everyone in the study. We only have the funds in Chicago and in the other centers to invite and examine [about] 4,000 participants in each one.”

The first phase’s national findings displayed that the Hispanic and Latino populations have a unique set of health risk factors, including cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and smoking. Chicago’s findings showed a high risk for diabetes among adults ages 45 to 64, higher blood pressure among men than women, obesity in 40 percent of participants ages 18 to 44, a lack of health insurance in 57 percent of all participants and a lack of recreational physical activity among women ages 45 to 64.

“Studies like these really help drive policies and resource allocation, which we really like in public health,” Bechara Choucair, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said, according to InsuranceNews.net. “[They help us] better understand what the assets are and what the needs of our community are, so we can respond better.”

“This is more than an academic pursuit,” LaMar Hasbrouck, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, said, according to InsuranceNews.net. “This is really about understanding populations at risk so that we can translate that understanding into better care, better longevity and better lives. Some solutions that are very important for those who are at risk are: one, change your habit, so that you can promote healthy health behavior; two, team up with a health care provider [and] three, comply with a mutual care plan, [which involves] negotiation with a health care provider.”

“I would be very happy to see that people who have…gotten access to Obama healthcare come to our study and will tell us this wonderful news,” Daviglus said, according to InsuranceNews.net. “There are a lot of free health clinics in the community that can still help and certainly saying that, it is important for the participant to know that they can do a lot for themselves at home by changing their lifestyles.”

Considered the understudied and underrepresented population in health studies, Hispanic and Latino adults experience greater health risks of cardiovascular diseases and other chronic diseases that lead to mortality, according to the American Heart Association.

For Hispanics and Latinos in the Chicago area with high risk of cardiovascular diseases like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes, liposuction and body contouring could be the answer. If you would like to learn more about liposuction and body contouring in the Chicago area, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!

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