Diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia are common chronic diseases among Hispanics, a group projected to comprise 30% of the US population by 2050. Mexican Americans are the largest ethnically distinct subgroup among Hispanics. We assessed the prevalence of and risk factors for undiagnosed and untreated diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia among Mexican Americans in Cameron County, Texas.
We analyzed cross-sectional baseline data collected from 2003 to 2008 in the Cameron County Hispanic Cohort, a randomly selected, community-recruited cohort of 2,000 Mexican American adults aged 18 or older, to assess prevalence of diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia; to assess the extent to which these diseases had been previously diagnosed based on self-report; and to determine whether participants who self-reported having these diseases were receiving treatment. We also assessed social and economic factors associated with prevalence, diagnosis, and treatment.
Approximately 70% of participants had 1 or more of the 3 chronic diseases studied. Of these, at least half had had 1 of these 3 diagnosed, and at least half of those who had had a disease diagnosed were not being treated. Having insurance coverage was positively associated with having the 3 diseases diagnosed and treated, as were higher income and education level.
Although having insurance coverage is associated with receiving treatment, important social and cultural barriers remain. Failure to provide widespread preventive medicine at the primary care level will have costly consequences.
Fisher-Hoch, S. P., Vatcheva, K. P., Laing, S. T., Hossain, M. M., Rahbar, M. H., Hanis, C. L., Brown, H. S., 3rd, Rentfro, A. R., Reininger, B. M., & McCormick, J. B. (2012). Missed opportunities for diagnosis and treatment of diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia in a Mexican American population, Cameron County Hispanic Cohort, 2003-2008. Preventing chronic disease, 9, 110298. https://doi.org/10.5888/pcd9.110298
Preventing Chronic Disease