Cardiovascular Disease and its Risk Factors among Mexican Americans in Starr County, Texas

Vera Won, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Based on the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in America and many other countries. Even though there are many cardiovascular related studies, research in the Hispanic population in the US has generally been limited and the impact of cardiovascular disease underestimated. Understanding the risk factors for cardiovascular disease among the Hispanic population is essential since they are the largest minority group in America and have their own unique health characteristics. To effectively and thoroughly learn about overall cardiovascular health in America, we conducted a cross-sectional study to compare the distribution of traditional risk factors of cardiovascular disease among Mexican Americans divided by gender and diabetes status to determine the contribution of potential risk factors to cardiovascular disease risk. These studies build on previous studies among Mexican Americans in Starr County, Texas. This study made use of data collected in the “Starr County Health Studies”. In these data, we selected 138 individuals with cardiovascular disease and 1,043 individuals without cardiovascular diseases and analyzed the present of cardiovascular disease based on EKGs, history of myocardial infarction, history of cardiovascular-related surgery, and echocardiography. In additional, risk factors were compared between those who have heart disease and those who do not. These were compared to other Latino population studies. For the statistical analysis, univariate descriptive statistics and multivariate logistic regression were used throughout the study after adjusting for age, gender, body mass index, and diabetes status. The study population were divided into 8 different groups by gender, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes status. Overall, about half of the study population had stage 1 or higher blood pressure category and 90% of them were either overweight or obese. Within the traditional risk factors, only age and body mass index were significant (p value>0.05). For the potential risk factors, taking lipid lowering medication, hypertensive status, and left ventricular mass were statistically significant (p value>0.05). The contribution of risk factors and potential risk factors were identified by stratification of diabetes. Since those with diabetes had higher risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, lipid lowering medication, and hypertension than non-diabetics, more diagnostic testing with a proper treatment should be recommended for those with diabetes.

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Recommended Citation

Won, Vera, "Cardiovascular Disease and its Risk Factors among Mexican Americans in Starr County, Texas" (2018). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI10790234.