Online Program

Prevalence of undiagnosed chronic disease among self-described healthy latinos

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 2:30 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.

Valerie Ruelas, MSW, Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
William McCarthy, PhD, Department of Health Policy and Management, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Brenda Manzanarez, RD, Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Nancy Calderon, MPH (candidate), Department of Health Policy and Management, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Background: The UCLA/USC Center for Population Health and Health Disparities (CPHHD) seeks to reduce cardiovascular disease risk in East Los Angeles, a predominantly low-income, immigrant Latino community with high rates of obesity-related chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and stroke. The eligibility requirements of two CPHHD research projects include that subjects be free of chronic diseases, be able to eat a healthy diet, and be able to walk one mile unassisted. Methods: Principal recruitment strategies were community based advertising, and staff presentations in the community. Recruitment messages made clear that to be eligible, subjects had to be free of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or invasive cancer and be in good physical health. Candidates were queried about health status by questionnaire and then if eligible underwent biometric screening. Key Results: Preliminary data show that over 45% of self-described “healthy” subjects were ineligible because of undiagnosed existing disease, as determined by paper and/or biometric screening. Questionnaire responses identified 38% of candidates as ineligible, primarily because of elevated cardiovascular risk factors, diabetes and physical health limitations. Biometric data identified 7% of candidates as ineligible based on BMI, blood pressure, pulse wave velocity, and elevated HbA1C measures. Discussion: A large proportion of seemingly “healthy” Latino adults in East L.A. in fact harbor undiagnosed existing disease. Community screening for major chronic disease risk factors in East L.A. would likely help reduce health disparities by early identification and treatment of chronic disease risk factors before medical complications arise, requiring more intensive medical intervention.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention

Learning Objectives:
Define elevated obesity-related disease risk with low-income urban Latinos; Explain 45% undiagnosed disease prevalence among seemingly healthy adult Latinos; Discuss community chronic disease screening to engage Latinos in early treatment and avoidance of the medical complications that would occur if undiagnosed disease remained untreated.

Keyword(s): Latino Health, Chronic Diseases

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Since 2004, I’ve directed the USC+CHLA Community Diabetes Initiatives and manage the program’s research grants and projects including two center grants, LookAhead Action for Health in Diabetes and UCLA/USC Center for Population Health and Health Disparities. I have been the research director/coordinator on 15 projects and the PI or Co-PI on 4 community evaluation projects assessing farmers’ markets; the demographics, food and physical activity behaviors of individuals; menu labeling and food access.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.