Heart disease is a serious health problem for Latinos. In fact, it is the second leading cause of death among Latinos. Some reasons are:
  • Poverty
  • Limited education
  • Poor health
  • Not enough fruits and vegetables in one's diet
  • Limited access to healthcare
Some people believe that a heart attack or stroke happens when a person is suddenly scared, upset, or angered. But while a heart attack or stroke may seem sudden, the truth is they happen when the person has heart disease that builds up over many years and often starts at a young age. Heart disease has many risk factors:
  • High Blood Pressure (hypertension): High blood pressure makes the heart pump blood harder, causing the arteries to thicken and become stiffer.
  • Tobacco Smoke: Smokers' risk of getting disease in the heart’s arteries is 2-4 times that of nonsmokers.
  • High Cholesterol: As LDL (‘bad cholesterol’) rises, so does the risk of coronary heart disease in the heart’s arteries. As LDL (‘bad cholesterol’) rises, so does the risk of coronary heart disease in the heart’s arteries.
  • Physical Inactivity: Being inactive is a risk factor for disease in the heart’s arteries.
  • Obesity and Overweight: People who have excess body fat — especially at the waist — are more likely to develop heart disease and stroke.
  • Diabetes: Diabetes increases your risk of getting heart disease.
High blood pressure is one of the biggest things that can put you at risk. When your blood pressure is high, your heart must work harder. It is known as the “silent killer” because it has no symptoms.

Getting your blood pressure measured is a good way to care for your family’s heart health. 

Cardiovascular Health. (n.d.). Retrieved October 19, 2020.
Hispanic Health. (2015, May 05). Retrieved October 19, 2020.
Office of Minority Health. (n.d.). Retrieved October 19, 2020.
Cancer Facts & Figures for Hispanic and Latino People
Get your blood pressure checked each year or as your doctor suggests and recheck high readings at home with a blood pressure monitor. Know your numbers.

(Reference: US Preventive Services Task Force)
Aunt Bertha icon
It can be hard to find social services to help with your physical and emotional health. TakeAction is a social care network that connects people and programs – making it easy for you to find the social services you need in your community.
  • "I don't have a doctor."

    Here are some online tools to help you find a doctor or nurse in your community:
    • HRSA Community Health Centers. Contact HRSA to make an appointment or get a blood pressure screening (877-464-4772). HRSA provides care, even if you have no health insurance. Open weekdays 8am to 8pm Eastern Time (except federal holidays).
    • Visit your insurance plan’s website to find a doctor in your area. Most health insurance companies have a “Find a Doctor” feature on their websites.
  • "I don't have time to get screened."

    Finding time can be hard. Luckily, a blood pressure screening doesn’t take long. Many local drugstores offer screenings in their pharmacy section, including WalgreensCVS, and Kroger’s. So, the next time you’re at the drugstore, stop by the pharmacy and see if they’ll check your blood pressure.
  • "I'm worried about what others might think."

    Chances are you’re not the only one in your family, circle of friends, or community with high blood pressure (hypertension). But if you’re feeling alone, the American Heart Association has a Support Network to connect you with other people affected by heart disease. The American Heart Association offers a free magazine for heart patients and their families called Heart Insight.
  • "I don't know where to go to get screened."

    Your family doctor or nurse can provide blood pressure screenings. If you don’t have a doctor or don’t have time to get to a doctor’s appointment, many local drug stores offer screenings in their pharmacy section, including WalgreensCVS, and Kroger’sHRSA HealthCenters can do blood pressurescreenings even if you have no health insurance. (877-464-4772) HRSA centersare open weekdays, 8am to 8pm Eastern Time (except federal holidays).
  • "I can't get to a screening appointment."

    Getting to your blood pressure screening can be hard, but don’t let this stop you. It’s important. If public transportation is not practical, mobile apps like Uber and Lyft may provide door-to-door service to and from your appointment for less than the cost of a taxi. Or ask a friend or family member for help! See if someone you know can give you a ride.

    You may also be able to get help with gas costs if you have a car or have a friend or a neighbor who can take you. The NEMT program must approve this before your appointment. Benefits and program types vary by county.
  • "I'm worried about the cost."

    Blood pressure tests are covered by insurance. Depending on your insurance, you may be able to have a doctor or nurse check your blood pressure for free. There are also pharmacies/drug stores, local health fairs and community events that often offer free blood pressure screenings. Search “upcoming health events” online.

    If your doctor recommends a prescription medicine to help lower your blood pressure and you are concerned about the cost, you may be able to find financial help at Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA) or Needy Meds.
  • "I'm scared it will hurt."

    The good news is that blood pressure screenings usually don’t hurt. If you are concerned about any pain during your screening, share your concerns and ask your provider before your visit what you can expect during the screening.
  • "I'm worried my doctor will find something."

    Heart disease happens over many years. When blood pressure stays high over time, it can damage the body and cause serious problems — even death. So, it’s better to know if you have high blood pressure as early as possible. To learn more, visit www.heart.org.
  • "I need help quitting smoking."

    Smoking cessation programs may be covered by your insurance. You can find many free smoking cessation and support resources on the weblike SmokeFree.gov or WebMD's Smoking Cessation Health Center.