Largest Latino Health Study Underway

4,000 San Diegan are participating in a study which aims to reveal a health phenomenon.

By Diana Guevara
|  Saturday, Dec 10, 2011  |  Updated 8:26 AM PDT
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Largest Latino Health Study Underway

Dr. James Cevallos examines a patient on Dec. 9.

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4,000 San Diegans are participating in one of the largest nationwide health studies. The study aims to reveal information about the health of the growing Latino community.

It is called the Hispanic Community Health Study. While there have been many national studies about this population, researchers say this one is not only the largest, but the most specific.

In his six years with San Ysidro Health Center, Dr. James Cevallos has seen many health disparities among the Latino community.

He says besides the lack of health care, Type 2 diabetes is the most prominent disparity. It is one of the reasons why the center is partnering with San Diego State University to conduct the largest Latino health study in the nation. 

Dr. Greg Talavera with SDSU says they have recruited 4,000 Latinos in four cities to participate - San Diego, Chicago, the Bronx and Miami.

The main goal is to follow them over time to look at patterns of disease and to find the reason behind a certain health phenomenon.

"Hispanics suffer from more diabetes, obesity, poverty and lower access to care, yet their rates of heart attack when compared to the general population is lower,” says Talavera.

The study includes all five major Latino groups - Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican and Central American.

The study continues with follow-up interviews taken throughout the process.

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