Hypertension up in Mexican-Americans

Jan. 17, 2011 at 9:04 PM
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GALVESTON, Texas, Jan. 17 (UPI) -- High blood pressure is rising among older Mexican-Americans, U.S. researchers say.

Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston say the prevalence of hypertension in older Mexican-Americans living in the Southwest region of the United States has gone up in the last decade and they suspect the rise is due, in part, to the increase in diabetes and obesity.

The study, published in the Annals of Epidemiology, indicates overall hypertension awareness was 63 percent in 2004 to 2005 and rose to 82.6 percent in 1993 to1994. However, diabetic and obese subjects were more likely to be hypertensive in 2004-2005 than in 1993-1994.

"We always expect that things are improving, right?" study principal investigator Kyriakos Markides asks in a statement. "But now we're finding that, in the more recent study participants, they're more disabled, have more diabetes, have slightly more obesity and slightly more hypertension."

Markides and colleagues interviewed and took health measurements for 3,952 older Mexican-Americans in five states every two or three years. Of these 3,050 men and women 65 and older were evaluated starting in 1993-1994. An additional 902 men and women 75 and older were added in 2004-2005.

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