Health Disparities; Latino; Cardiovascular Disease; Public Health; Preventative Medicine


Accounting for nearly 19% of the United States population in 2020, Latinos and Hispanics represent the second largest racial/ethnic group in the United States, totaling roughly 62.1 million people. Given the growing population size and longer life expectancy estimates amongst the U.S. Latino/Hispanic community, healthcare practitioners and public health officials are increasingly emphasizing the healthcare needs and outcomes of this population. Alarmingly, current literature has highlighted significant disparities in cardiovascular disease (CVD) incidence and risk factors among U.S. Latinos/Hispanics. As CVD continues to be one of the leading causes of death amongst all racial/ethnic groups across the United States, risk reduction through preventative care utilization remains of utmost importance for mitigating potential risk factors and eventual diagnosis of CVD. The purpose of the study was to quantify healthcare engagement through preventive care utilization for cardiovascular disease and associated risk factors among U.S. Latino/Hispanics.

This research study used a cross-sectional design with secondary data from the 2017- March 2020 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Variables related to sociodemographic characteristics, knowledge of CVD/risk factor history, and preventive service utilization for CVD were collected from a sample of N=2122 adult Latino/Hispanic participants, representing 40,412,679 U.S. Latinos/Hispanics. All 9 demographic variables were found to have significant associations with the 7 preventive service use variables (p<.001-.016). Similarly, most of the 11 variables related to knowledge of CVD history were found to have significant associations with the 7 preventive service use variables (p<.001). No significant associations were found between knowledge of high blood pressure history with medication use, and knowledge of diabetes history with A1C testing use. Findings from this study reveal various disparities in CVD preventive care utilization amongst the study participants. Limitations of this study included lack of disaggregated ethnic data, possible bias in self-reported data, and missing responses. Results from this study can be utilized to inform clinicians and public health officials in establishing personalized preventive care interventions and increasing community engagement with cardiovascular preventive care services.

Thesis Completion Year


Thesis Completion Semester


Thesis Chair

Beltran, Susanny


College of Health Professions and Sciences


School of Social Work

Thesis Discipline

Social work



Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus Access


Campus Location

Orlando (Main) Campus