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cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus type 2, Hispanic Americans, myocardial infarction, perception, risk



  1. Fukuoka, Yoshimi PhD, RN, FAAN
  2. Oh, Yoo Jung MA


Background: Individuals with a greater perceived risk of heart attack or type 2 diabetes tend to adopt recommended lifestyle changes to minimize their risks. Despite the rapidly growing Hispanic population in the United States, data regarding their perceived risks are lacking.


Objective: This study aimed to examine the perceived risk of suffering a heart attack and/or developing type 2 diabetes and to explore the factors associated with these risk perceptions in Hispanic adults with overweight/obesity.


Methods: We analyzed 69 Hispanic adults with overweight/obesity who participated in the screening/baseline visit for the Adelgaza study, a weight loss and diabetes prevention trial, using descriptive statistics and logistic regressions. Heart attack or type 2 diabetes risk perception was assessed using a single-item questionnaire.


Results: The mean (SD) values for age and body mass index (BMI) were 43.8 (11.2) years and 31.7 (4.5) kg/m2, respectively. Of all participants, 46.4% perceived a low risk for heart attack and 29.0% perceived a low risk for developing type 2 diabetes in their lifetime, whereas only 11.6% reported both risk perceptions. Older age, lower BMI, and longer walking duration (minutes) per day were significantly associated with a lower perceived risk of heart attack (P < .05). Having no family history of heart attack, lower BMI, and lower fat intake were significant predictors of a lower diabetes-risk perception (P < .05).


Conclusions: Hispanic adults with overweight/obesity seem to underestimate their risks of heart attack and type 2 diabetes.