CDC Releases National Study on Latino Health Risks and Causes of Death

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just released a national study detailing the leading causes of death, health risk factors, and diseases of the Latino population in the United States. The study found that the U.S. Latino community is experiencing a prevalence of certain chronic disease conditions in much greater proportions than the general U. S. population. The report is entitled, “Vital Signs” report, “A La Buena Salud – To Good Health!”

“This report is good news and bad news,” said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden in a press interview following the release of the report. “There are some areas of health that are worse, some that are better, but they can be improved.” Frieden continued by adding that the health conditions of Latinos could be improved by simple, convenient exercises, such as a brisk, 30-minute walk three times a week, coupled with dietary changes that would improve heart health and reduce obesity.

The top five causes of death for U.S. Hispanics are:

  1. Cancer
  2. Heart disease
  3. Unintentional injuries
  4. Stroke
  5. Diabetes.

Chronic lower respiratory disease ranks as the third-leading cause of death for U.S. non-Latino whites. Although diabetes is on the rise in non-Latino whites, it is not yet in the top five causes of death for this population.

“Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in this country,” said Dr. Frieden. “We need to encourage people to quit and help them quit.”

The CDC report generally found that Latinos in the United States are generally healthier than non-Hispanic whites despite numerous risk factors that should shorten their lives.  The Report went on to say that “Despite being poorer and having less access to health insurance and health care, Hispanics suffer 35 percent less heart disease and 49 percent less cancer than whites.”  The Report also cited another study that found that U.S. Latinos live about two years longer than U.S. non-Latino whites and that Latinos have lower rates of Alzheimer’s disease, cerebrovascular disease, flu, pneumonia and other common killers of Americans.

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