Preventing a heart attack or stroke makes sense. We already know that high cholesterol, high blood pressure (hypertension), and diabetes are important risk factors that can and should be improved through access to health care. Now, researchers have examined how well these risk factors are treated among Hispanic/Latino immigrants by their immigration status (including naturalized citizens, documented immigrants, and undocumented immigrants). When compared with naturalized citizens, undocumented and documented immigrants were less likely to receive treatment for high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. Additionally, undocumented and documented immigrants had less access to health care (including insurance coverage or a usual health care provider) than naturalized citizens. Therefore, health care access explains treatment inequalities across immigration status. Preventing cardiovascular disease among Hispanic/Latino immigrants should focus on increasing health care access, especially among undocumented immigrants.
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