A recent report in the American Heart Association Rapid Access Journal states that adults with different Latino or Hispanic backgrounds in the U.S. are at a higher risk for heart disease, which is significantly affected by their use of statins.
Statins -- medications designed to lower a person’s cholesterol -- have the highest use among American adults who have Dominican or Puerto Rican backgrounds. People with the lowest rate of statin use have Central American backgrounds.
“These findings have important implications for preventing disparities in cardiovascular outcomes within the growing U.S. Hispanic-Latino population,” Dima Qato, lead author of the study and professor at the University of Illinois in Chicago, said. “Efforts to increase the use of statins, particularly targeting individuals that have already suffered a heart attack or stroke, should include expanding health insurance for all Hispanic-Latino adults that currently lack coverage, regardless of their heritage.”
Researchers found having health insurance to be the main variance between the study participants and their statin use.
“Efforts to improve statin prescribing in patients likely to benefit are particularly important in patients with history of heart disease,” Qato said. “Health care providers and policy makers should be aware of the role of insurance in the underuse of preventative cardiovascular medications in specific Hispanic-Latino populations.”