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Gaps Found in Mexican-American Health

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WASHINGTON, Mar 19, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A study released Friday shows Mexican-Americans are less likely to know they have high blood pressure or high cholesterol than non-Hispanic white Americans.

The analysis of health data from 1988 to 2000 also said Mexican-Americans are less likely than whites to be treated for the conditions after diagnosis.

The incidence of high blood pressure increased from 25 percent to 29 percent in the past decade for both groups, according to the survey by the National Hispanic Medical Association and Pfizer Inc.

Mexican-Americans lag behind whites in diagnosis and treatment and are less successful in lowering blood pressure to recommended levels. They are more successful than whites in lowering their cholesterol, however, even though only 32 percent were aware they had it, compared to 58 percent of whites.

Only 44 percent of Mexican-Americans are likely to be screened for cholesterol, compared to 74 percent of whites, and they are only half as likely to receive treatment.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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