Heart :: Latinas Make a Special Commitment to Healthy Hearts this Mother’s Day

This Mother’s Day, the National Alliance for Hispanic Health (the Alliance) and AstraZeneca are encouraging Latinas to take positive steps toward taking better care of their hearts and the hearts of their loved ones.

This effort is part of Para un corazon saludable (translation: For a healthy heart), a new educational initiative aimed at improving awareness and understanding of heart disease risk factors, including high cholesterol, among Hispanics.

“In many Hispanic households, the woman is the primary caregiver, and while looking after the needs of her family, she may overlook taking care of herself,” said Dr. Jane Delgado, President and CEO of the Alliance. “As we celebrate Mother’s Day, we’re asking Latinas to take better care of their hearts by eating a heart-healthy diet, exercising regularly, knowing their cholesterol level, and talking to their health care provider about cardiovascular health.”

Hispanics continue to make strides in addressing overall health issues and cholesterol prevention. According to a 2005 report from the Center for Disease Control, approximately one in two Hispanics reported that they had not had their cholesterol screened in the past 5 years, a rate that is twice as high as whites (48 percent vs. 24 percent). Hispanic women also are less likely than black and white women to engage in physical activity — a major preventative measure for heart disease.

High cholesterol does not have physical symptoms, so it is especially important that women understand the relationship between cholesterol and heart disease, know the facts on prevention and treatment options, and talk to a health care provider about their personal risk factors.

Para un corazon saludable was designed to give Hispanics the knowledge and resources necessary to help them be heart healthy. In addition to providing educational materials to the community through the Alliance’s Su Familia National Hispanic Family Health Helpline, the Alliance and AstraZeneca are collaborating on educational events in New York/New Jersey, Chicago, Miami, and Houston to further awareness in the Hispanic community on high cholesterol and its impact on heart health.

The first steps of prevention and treatment for high cholesterol generally may include regular exercise and diet. In addition to reducing cholesterol, these actions can help Latinas manage their weight, increase energy levels, reduce stress and blood pressure, and control diabetes. For people who have trouble lowering their cholesterol adequately by diet and exercise alone, there are a number of treatment options available.

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