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NHCOA Joins National Wear Red Day to Raise Awareness About Health Disease in Women

Latinas are likely to develop heart disease 10 years earlier than White women

Washington, DC— Today, Dr. Yanira Cruz, President and CEO of the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA)— the leading national organization working to improve the lives of Hispanic older adults, their families, and caregivers— gave the following statement regarding National Wear Red Day, a national initiative from the American Heart Association to raise awareness in the fight against heart disease in women:

“The fact is that heart disease is the number one cause of death for women in the United States, and it is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined. Through our work in the area of health, we see first-hand how aging and Latina seniors are at an increased risk for heart disease because of preventable factors that are prevalent in our community, such as cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes.

“When we add this to genetic factors, such as family history, age, and race/ethnicity, we know that Hispanic women are more likely to develop heart disease a decade earlier than White women. For this reason, reducing risk for heart disease is key toward good health among Hispanic women.

“At NHCOA, we promote healthy lifestyles including proper nutrition, daily exercise, avoidance of smoking, consumption of alcohol in moderation and pursuit of a stress free lifestyle. Additionally, we encourage regular visits with a primary care provider to ensure that early detection and treatment of diseases affecting the heart and blood vessels.

“One way that NHCOA promotes heart health is through Salud y Bienestar, a national flagship program that educates and informs Latino seniors, their families and caregivers on how to prevent and/or manage diabetes and its complications. Originally funded by the CDC, Salud y Bienestar has helped thousands of Latino seniors and families, especially Latinas, over the last several years make healthier lifestyle changes.

“One of the key components of the program is the relationship participants have with food, a central part of all Hispanic households. Because women tend to be head of their kitchens, their participation in Salud y Bienestar ultimately impacts the health of all her family members.

“Today, we reinforce our commitment to helping reduce the health iniquities our community faces, such as heart disease in women, so that we all have the ability to age in dignity and with the best health possible.”

According to American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women website, only one in three Latinas is aware that heart disease is the number one cause of death among Hispanic women. Additionally:

  • Only 3 in 10 Hispanic women say they have been informed that they are at a higher risk.
  • Only 1 in 4 Hispanic women is aware of treatment options.
  • Hispanic women are more likely to take preventive actions for their family when it comes to heart health.

For more information about National Wear Red Day, click here.

For more information about NHCOA’s Salud y Bienestar program, click here.