Salud Saturday: The Latin Beat of Our Heart

by guest blogger Laura Tellado (@Laurita86)

Yesterday, thousands of Americans rallied together in monochrome unison in support of heart health.

February 4th was designated “National Wear Red Day,” and the American Heart Association’s signature color was sported proudly to raise awareness of the #1 killer in America—and of Latina women. And they did so with good reason.

The statistics are nothing if not sobering. According to the American Heart Association Web site, “On average, 2,200 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day” —and it is estimated to kill one woman every minute.

This risk is increased by the laundry list of related conditions Latinos are already at high risk for, such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and obesity, the Hispanic PR Newswire reported on Thursday.

So why do these killer conditions seem to be cloaked in secrecy, and why is this vital information kept away from the Latino community? To put a twist on an old adage, Mahoma debe ir a la montaña! (Muhammad must go to the mountain!)

We Latinos have within our grasp the power to become knowledgeable regarding the issues that impact us the most. But, in order to become enlightened, we must be willing and active information-seekers. Let’s use the resources we’ve gleaned so far from the 21st century, and put them to work for us.

Your personal health– whether it’s heart, lung, liver, kidney or brain—is of the utmost importance, and you have to be the loudest voice in this room!

Latinos have historically demonstrated a sense of community that is at the very “heart” of our beliefs and values. It compels us to selflessly share information and resources with our family members, neighbors, classmates, co-workers and fellow churchgoers.

It’s about la comunidad, and the exchange of ideas and tips. It’s about sharing not only a set of cultural values, but also a set of biological markers that make us more likely to share the same afflictions.

But, more importantly, it’s about you. That’s what truly lies at the heart of the matter.

ABOUT LAURA TELLADO: Laura is a journalist/blogger from Puerto Rico dedicated to generate public awareness of Spina Bifida, a neural tube defect of the spinal cord that is the #1 cause of paralysis in children in America. Follow Laura on Twitter @Laurita86. Read more about her campaign at her blog:

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    AnaRC 8 years ago

    Great post Laurita! Thank you for building awareness about the health issues affecting the Latino community. What an honor to have you on the LATISM blog

    Ana Gonzales Lewis 8 years ago

    Wonderful post Laura. I understand this very well as my mother was one of those statistics. She died of acute cardiac arrest in her sleep at the age of 46 years old. Thank you so much for talking about this and bringing it to our attention. Very important post on a silent killer.

    Laurita Tellado 8 years ago

    Gracias Ana. Amiguita, I assure you the honor is mine. I have so many role models and heroes in the Latism community, you included. I’m humbled to be writing under the LATISM name!

    Laurita Tellado 8 years ago

    Ana Gonzales Lewis– thank you so much for taking the time to comment! i really feel for your loss, and I relate to it because I have that history of heart disease on both sides of my family. Let me assure you I learned so much in writing this post.

    Reina Valenzuela 8 years ago

    Querida Laurita,

    Thank you for drawing attention to this issue. I just learned that we, Latinas, have a higher rate of heart failure which may develop about 10 years earlier than our gringas counterparts. Why? I asked myself and began to read all about it. As it turns out it’s not just about diet and exercise but also because we don’t take care of ourselves. We take care of others first and leave ourselves last. We disregard the symptoms such as sleep disorders, shortness of breath, dizzyness, nausea, anxiety, high stress levels, and we think it’s nothing. “Ya se me va a pasar” “toughen up” we tell ourselves and keep going until we collapse.

    Let’s love ourselves, lets’s take care of our hearts. Hay que tener un buen corazon para darlo <3


    Liginette 8 years ago

    Great post!!! As always I’m very proud of you!!!! God bless you always!!!!

    Laurita Tellado 8 years ago

    I love you! Eres inspiración para mi, y me das fortaleza. I love my family so much, and I hope you’ll all do whatever you can to stay healthy so I can have you around forever!!! <3

  8. Marleny Ramirez 8 years ago

    beautiful post… thank you for bringing awareness to this issue.

    Vionet-Edith 8 years ago

    Very nice article. Truly, a good read. <3

    Maodreh 8 years ago

    Reina Val I totally agree my mother died of heart disease 24yrs ago at the age of 48!!! Its so true that we take care of our children, spouses(if your married), work a full time job and come home to clean and cook but don’t devote ENOUGH time to OUR well-being…I have chronic back problems and when the pain hits my blood pressure rises. Had to leave work to take care of me!!!and will be seeing my doctor in the morning, pray for me…thank you. Mil

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