8 simple ways for Hispanics to stay healthy

Many of these examples could be applied to people living with hepatitis C (AF)

In May, the first national study on Hispanics and their health was released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).The surprising results showed that Hispanics are generally healthier and have a longer life expectancy than non-Hispanic whites, though we do have some areas to grow in.

"Although Hispanics have lower overall drinking rates compared with white non-Hispanics, when they do drink, on average they have higher rates of binge drinking," says Dr. Ken Dominguez, a medical epidemiologist with the CDC and lead author of the report. More surprising news? The study revealed that Hispanics are affected specifically by certain conditions, with high rates of obesity and diabetes contributing to the two leading causes of death: cancer and heart disease.

That may sound alarming, but the study provides ways to target the health risks — some of them symptomless, some of them woven into the festive fabric of our culture — that we face. After all, knowledge is power. "Being Hispanic does not have to determine your quality of life," says Dominguez, who advises us to "take charge of your own health, practice healthy behaviors."

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