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cardiovascular disease, health disparities, Latinos, systematic review



  1. Estrada, Leah V. MA
  2. Solano, Jasmine BA
  3. Reading Turchioe, Meghan PhD
  4. Cortes, Yamnia I. PhD
  5. Caceres, Billy A. PhD


Background: Latinos, the fastest growing ethnic minority group in the United States, are at a high risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, little is known about effective strategies to reduce CVD risk in this population.


Objective: The aim of this study was to systematically review and synthesize evidence from randomized controlled trials that examined the effectiveness of behavioral interventions to reduce CVD risk in Latinos living in the United States.


Methods: Four electronic databases were searched for relevant peer-reviewed English- and Spanish-language articles published between January 1, 2000, and December 31, 2019. Four reviewers independently completed article screening, data abstraction, and quality appraisal. At least 2 reviewers completed data abstraction and quality appraisal for each article, and a third reviewer was assigned to settle disagreements. Data on study characteristics and outcomes were abstracted.


Results: We retrieved 1939 articles. After applying inclusion/exclusion criteria, 17 articles were included. Most interventions were led by community health workers (n = 10); 2 family-based interventions were identified. None of the included studies was nurse led. Behavioral factors were assessed across all included studies, whereas only 4 studies reported on psychosocial outcomes. Improvements were observed in dietary habits and psychosocial outcomes. Findings for physical activity and biological outcomes were mixed. We identified no differences in outcomes based on intervention modalities used or the role of those who led the interventions.


Conclusion: Existing evidence is mixed. Future research should assess the effectiveness of understudied treatment modalities (including nurse-led, mobile health, and family-based interventions) in reducing CVD risk in Latinos.