By Jennifer Lilonsky ( | First Posted: Feb 19, 2013 08:21 PM EST

(Photo : Reuters )

Latinos were found to be at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease than other ethnic groups, according to a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

The study also revealed that Latinos born in the U.S. have an even higher risk of developing heart disease than Latinos born outside of the U.S.

Lack of transportation, language barriers and lack of health insurance are some of the reasons that cardiovascular epidemiologist at Northwestern University and University Illinois and American Heart Association volunteer Martha L. Daviglus, M.D., Ph.D. said are responsible for the study's findings.


"Hispanics are more likely to delay care, drop out of treatment when symptoms disappear and avoid visits to the doctor," Daviglus said.

Daviglus also brought up the idea that the higher risk of heart disease in Latinos might also be due to American cultural food influences that manifest in fast food chains.

"Any family with two working parents finds that $5 can get several hamburgers, but fruits and veggies are more expensive and take more time to prepare," she said. "It's an issue of time and money."

The study also points out that the findings might also be related to the increased amount of stress associated with the so-called "American lifestyle" that also encompasses large amounts of processed foods and inactivity.

So what are some solutions?

Daviglus recommends that Latinos who live in an unsafe neighborhood, where outdoors exercise might present an issue of safety, try to find a secure indoor track or a safe park. But whichever route is taken, Latinos should be getting 30 minutes of physical activity on a daily basis, according to Daviglus, who also urges Latinos to focus on a more healthy diet while including more fruits and vegetables and nixing high-sodium food products.


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