Heart Disease Claimed the Life of Thalia’s Mother: Why Latinas Are At Higher Risk

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The official cause of death for Thalia’s mother, Yolanda Miranda was determined to be heart disease. The 76-year-old suffered a fatal heart attack in the early hours of May 27 after complaining of a debilitating headache the night before.

Unfortunately, the singer’s mom—like many women—did not recognize the warning signs of a heart attack, which can also include chest pain, arm pain, shortness of breath, nausea and heartburn.

This lack of awareness is alarming, as heart disease is a growing problem in Mexico, where Miranda lived, and the number one killer of Latinas in the United States, where cardiovascular disease is to blame for a third of all deaths among Latinas.

Contributing factors include high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, cigarette smoking and physical inactivity, all of which feature prominently in our community.

Over 76 percent of Latinas in the U.S. are overweight, with 45 percent of those categorized as obese, and as an ethnic group, we have the highest risk for developing diabetes. What’s more, Latinas are likelier than Caucasians to have high blood pressure, yet less likely to have it controlled. And if that wasn’t bad enough, nearly 60 percent of Latinas are sedentary, meaning that we don’t engage in physical activity to combat these ailments.

The odds are not in our favor, ladies—unless we take action now. To learn more about heart disease, check out the following links:

National Heart Lung and Blood Institute

American Heart Association

WomenHeart: the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease

 

 

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About this author

Grace Bastidas, Deputy Editor

Born and raised in Queens, New York, where more languages are spoken than anywhere in the world, Grace Bastidas is Latina’s Deputy Editor. She oversees lifestyle content, including topics as diverse as career, health and relationships, and occasionally writes about her own experiences in The Good Life section. As a writer, Grace’s work has appeared in The New York TimesNew York magazine, The Wall Street Journal and Travel + Leisure. She is fluent in Spanish.

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