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Reading: Cardiovascular diseases in Latin America and the Caribbean: The present situation

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Cardiovascular diseases in Latin America and the Caribbean: The present situation

Authors:

Palmira Pramparo ,

InterAmerican Heart Foundation, Epidemiology and Prevention, Pena 3070 5B, Buenos Aires, 1425 Ciudad Autonoma de Buenos Aires, AR
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Carlos Mendoza Montano,

InterAmerican Heart Foundation, Epidemiology and Prevention, Pena 3070 5B, Buenos Aires, 1425 Ciudad Autonoma de Buenos Aires, AR
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Alberto Barceló,

InterAmerican Heart Foundation, Epidemiology and Prevention, Pena 3070 5B, Buenos Aires, 1425 Ciudad Autonoma de Buenos Aires, AR
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Alvaro Avezum,

InterAmerican Heart Foundation, Epidemiology and Prevention, Pena 3070 5B, Buenos Aires, 1425 Ciudad Autonoma de Buenos Aires, AR
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Rainford Wilks

InterAmerican Heart Foundation, Epidemiology and Prevention, Pena 3070 5B, Buenos Aires, 1425 Ciudad Autonoma de Buenos Aires, AR
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Abstract

In Latin America and the Caribbean, cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are already the leading cause of death and disability. Predictions for the next two decades include a near tripling of ischemic heart disease and stroke mortality in Latin American countries (LAC).

The present review has compiled information from the Pan American Health Organization and taking into consideration relevant information on risk factors and has gleaned from recognized studies, published in peer reviewed journals.

In general, epidemiological data are scarce and have been collected without standardized methodologies, especially on cardiovascular risk factors. The largest and most populated LAC have more complete mortality data and epidemiological studies have been performed by scientific societies and by health authorities. An analysis of mortality indicates that the recent declines in CVD seen in developed countries are not as favorable in LAC, nonetheless, there is considerable variability between countries and by age group. Some of the countries of the region are still in the epidemiological transition where both chronic and infectious diseases have a high prevalence. As the countries of the Region continue their rapid economic and demographic transition, CVD continue to grow in importance.

Several cardiovascular risk factors have a great health impact in the region. Tobacco, hypertension, diabetes, obesity and physical inactivity rank among the five most important causes of ill health and premature death in the Americas.

The resources available to implement prevention and control programs, in most countries, are still very limited. Reversing current trends will require a wide range of strategies, some beyond the traditional realm of public health. Sustainable programs targeting both individuals at high risk and entire communities are needed in combination with effective policies to support the adoption of healthy lifestyles.

How to Cite: Pramparo P, Montano CM, Barceló A, Avezum A, Wilks R. Cardiovascular diseases in Latin America and the Caribbean: The present situation. Global Heart. 2006;2(3):149–57. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.precon.2007.03.002
Published on 01 Sep 2006.
Peer Reviewed

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