Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e54056. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0054056. Epub 2013 Jan 17.

Major cardiovascular risk factors in Latin America: a comparison with the United States. The Latin American Consortium of Studies in Obesity (LASO).

Author information

  • 1CRONICAS Center of Excellence in Chronic Diseases, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru.



Limited knowledge on the prevalence and distribution of risk factors impairs the planning and implementation of cardiovascular prevention programs in the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region.


Prevalence of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, abnormal lipoprotein levels, obesity, and smoking were estimated from individual-level patient data pooled from population-based surveys (1998-2007, n=31,009) from eight LAC countries and from a national survey of the United States (US) population (1999-2004) Age and gender specific prevalence were estimated and age-gender adjusted comparisons between both populations were conducted. Prevalence of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and low high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol in LAC were 5% (95% confidence interval [95% CI]: 3.4, 7.9), 20.2% (95% CI: 12.5, 31), and 53.3% (95% CI: 47, 63.4), respectively. Compared to LAC region's average, the prevalence of each risk factor tended to be lower in Peru and higher in Chile. LAC women had higher prevalence of obesity and low HDL-cholesterol than men. Obesity, hypercholesterolemia, and hypertriglyceridemia were more prevalent in the US population than in LAC population (31 vs. 16.1%, 16.8 vs. 8.9%, and 36.2 vs. 26.5%, respectively). However, the prevalence of low HDL-cholesterol was higher in LAC than in the US (53.3 vs. 33.7%).


Major cardiovascular risk factors are highly prevalent in LAC region, in particular low HDL-cholesterol. In addition, marked differences do exist in this prevalence profile between LAC and the US. The observed patterns of obesity-related risk factors and their current and future impact on the burden of cardiovascular diseases remain to be explained.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk