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Revista argentina de cardiología

On-line version ISSN 1850-3748


FERRANTE, Daniel  and  VIRGOLINI, Mario. National Risk Factor Survey 2005: Main Results. Prevalence of Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Argentina. Rev. argent. cardiol. [online]. 2007, vol.75, n.1, pp.20-29. ISSN 1850-3748.

Until present, we had no information available at a national level regarding the main risk factors affecting morbidity and mortality due to cardiovascular diseases, that would allow to undertake a strategy of health promotion and primary prevention. With the goal of developing public health policies, the Ministry of Health has started to work on the first "National Risk Factor Survey". Objectives To describe the prevalence of the main cardiovascular risk factors in Argentina and their association with sociodemographic characteristics. Material and Methods The first National Risk Factor Survey was conducted from March 12 until June 17, 2005, using a questionnaire proposed by PAHO and the WHO, which was previously validated for Argentina. Homes were surveyed to obtain a probabilistic sample, which was representative at national and provincial levels. The survey included adults, aged 18 years and older. The main prevalence indicators were obtained according to CDC recommendations; the associations between sociodemographic parameters were assessed as well as the rate of control of blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Results A total of 41.392 surveys were performed, with a response rate of 86.7%. The main national indicators were: a low level of physical activity (46.2%), tobacco consumption, which was 33.4% in subjects aged 18 to 64 years and 29.7% in adults of all ages, high blood pressure (33.4%) in people in whom it was measured, overweight-obesity was 49.1%, low consumption of fruits and vegetables: 35.3%, diabetes in 11.9% (in people in whom it was measured), high cholesterol: 27.8% (in people in whom it was measured), while alcohol intake considered "of risk" was 9.6%. For almost all risk factors assessed, the prevalence was higher in lower income populations, with unmet basic needs and lower educational level. Prevalence was also significant in the northeastern and northwestern provinces of our country. As to the reported control of risk factors, for blood pressure it was 78.7% in the last two years and for cholesterol levels it was 56.8% in subjects older than 20 years old. The prevalence observed for moderate to high risk of cardiovascular events was 28.4%. Conclusions This first National Risk Factor Survey will be useful in developing public policies for the prevention and control of cardiovascular diseases and will provide the basis for an epidemiological surveillance system that will allow to make adequate public health decisions.

Keywords : Epidemiological surveillance; Risk factors; Non-transmissible diseases.

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