Hispanic Heritage and Liver Disease

Since 1988, September 15 through October 15 is dedicated as Hispanic Heritage Month. This month is used to celebrate the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. Although it encompasses 4 geographic areas it includes 21 countries.

  • Argentina21 countries included in Hispanic heritage month
  • Belize
  • Bolivia
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Cuba
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Mexico
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Puerto Rico
  • Spain
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela

Each country is unique in culture, food, and music. They also have similarities, such as the language most speak, Spanish and unfortunately, the diseases that affect this group.

One of the health concerns for the Hispanic community is Liver Disease. The CDC states that Hispanics are about 50% more likely to die from diabetes or LIVER DISEASE, than non-Hispanic whites. Of these, Mexicans are nearly twice as likely to die from chronic liver disease and cirrhosis as whites.*

Why? Research shows that drinking patterns among Hispanics are different from those of non-Hispanic Whites and other ethnic or racial groups. Although overall Hispanics are less likely to drink than non-Hispanic whites, those who choose to drink are more likely to consume higher volumes of alcohol.#

Percent of past-drinkers, by usual number of drinks consumed per dayPercent of past-drinkers who drank 4 5 or more drinks on occasionThe consequences are severe.

  1. Alcohol dependence:
    33% of Hispanics who become alcohol dependent have recurrent or persistent problems, compares with 22.8% of non-Hispanic whites.
  2. Drunk Driving:
    Among Hispanics who drink, Mexican American men and women and South/Central American men are most likely to receive a DUI.
  3. Liver Disease:
    Hispanic men develop liver disease at high rates. White Hispanic men have the highest rate of alcohol-related cirrhosis of all ethnic or racial groups.

What factors contribute to the high incidences of liver disease in the Hispanic population?

  • Environmental
  • Genetic
  • Behavioral

There are also a few disparities that contribute to these high incidences

  • Socioeconomic
  • Health care

What are some conditions or diseases affected by your family or environment? Tell us below:
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For more information, you can visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism website at the following links:

If you have any questions or would like to set up and appointment, you can call 336-768-6211 or fill out the form below.

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