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A Status Report on the Health of People in EI Paso County, Texas and Doña Ana County, New Mexico.

;1

Ever Diagnosed with High Blood Pressure eNM eo e Doña Ana eEl Paso

eus

B. High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure (Hypertension) and high cholesterol are the main risk factors leading to heart attacks and strokes, the number one and number three causes of death in the U.515 Together these two health problems

are responsible for over 40% of all deaths annually.16

Blood pressure readings are measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and usually given as 2 numbers, such as 110 over 70 which is written as 110/70. The top number is the systolic blood pressure reading, the maximum pressure exerted when the heart contracts. The bottom number is the diastolic blood pressure reading, the pressure in the arteries when the heart is at rest. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a 12- to 13-point reduction in systolic blood pressure can reduce heart attacks by 21 %, strokes by 37%, and total cardiovascular deaths by 25%.1

20.8%

24.~

22.

More than one in four residents of Doña Ana County and one in five residents of EI Paso County reported being told by their doctor that they have high blood pressure. In both areas, non-Hispanics were much more likely than Hispanics to have been diagnosed with high blood pressure (32% vs. 19%). As with cholesterol testing, the problem may be worse in this region due to the high number of people who lack health care coverage.

CHRONIC DISEASES

A. Health Status

A person's health and how well they feel is an important indicator of their quality of life. Other quality of life indicators include jobs, housing, schools, neighborhood, culture, values, and spiritualityY

Respondents were asked to rate their own health. A much higher proportion of EI Paso County residents feel that their health is 'fair' or 'poor' than the nation as a whole (24% vs. 15%). In all geographic areas, Hispanics were much more likely to report 'fair' or 'poor' health than non-Hispanics; in EI Paso, the difference between Hispanics and non-Hispanics was striking (27% vs. 12%).

Self Perception of General Health was "Fair" or "Poor"

Self Perception of General Health Status by Ethnicity

eEl Paso eDoña Ana e TX eNM eUS

e Hispanics e Non-His anics

27.6%

24.8%

19

14.0%

11.8%

EI Paso

Doña Ana

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