Hispanics who have even a small amount of plaque build-up in the neck artery are up to four times more likely to suffer or die from a stroke or heart attack than Hispanics who do not have plaque. According to a study by the the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurolog, researchers used ultrasound to determine the thickness of the plaque in the carotid artery of 2,189 men and women who were part of the multi-ethnic Northern Manhattan Study. Carotid plaque was found in 58 percent of the group.
After an average follow-up of seven years, 121 people suffered or died from ischemic stroke, 118 suffered or died from heart attack and 166 died of other vascular causes. The study found Hispanics with the thickest amounts of plaque had a three-to-four-fold increased risk of vascular events, such as stroke or heart attack, compared to Hispanics who did not have plaques.