• Cardiovascular disease risk factors are highly prevalent in the general population in the Southern Cone of Latin America.
  • The prevalences of obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and diabetes were 35.7%, 40.8%, 58.4%, and 12.4%, respectively.
  • The prevalence of metabolic syndrome was 37.4%.
  • The proportion of individuals with ≥3 cardiovascular risk factors was 68.3%.

Abstract

Background

Cardiovascular disease is a major cause of death, and its mortality is increasing in Latin America. However, population-based data on cardiovascular disease risk factors are sparse in these countries.

Methods

A total of 7524 men and women, aged 35 to 74 years old, were recruited between February 2010 and December 2011 from randomly selected samples in 4 cities (Bariloche and Marcos Paz, Argentina; Temuco, Chile; and Pando-Barros Blancos, Uruguay) in the Southern Cone of Latin America. Cardiovascular risk factors were measured using standard methods by trained and certified observers.

Results

Approximately 85.5% of adults ate less than five servings of fruit or vegetables per day, 35.2% engaged in low physical activity, and 29.7% currently smoked cigarettes. The prevalences of obesity, central obesity, hypertension, chronic kidney disease, dyslipidemia, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome were 35.7%, 52.9%, 40.8%, 2.0%, 58.4%, 12.4%, and 37.4%, respectively. The proportion of individuals with ≥3 cardiovascular risk factors, including low intake of fruit and vegetables, low physical activity, current cigarette smoking, obesity or central obesity, hypertension, chronic kidney disease, dyslipidemia, and diabetes, was 68.3%, and the proportion of individuals with ≥3 cardiometabolic risk factors, including obesity or central obesity, hypertension, chronic kidney disease, dyslipidemia, and diabetes, was 22.9%.

Conclusions

Cardiovascular disease risk factors are highly prevalent in the general population in the Southern Cone of Latin America. These data suggest that national efforts on the prevention, treatment, and control of cardiovascular risk factors should be a public health priority in the Southern Cone of Latin America.