Cardiovascular risk awareness, treatment, and control in urban Latin America

Am J Ther. Mar-Apr 2010;17(2):159-66. doi: 10.1097/MJT.0b013e3181a84ec5.


Effective prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases require regular screening for risk factors, high awareness of the condition, effective treatment of the identified risk factors, and adherence to the prescribed treatment. The Cardiovascular Risk Factor Multiple Evaluation in Latin America study was a cross-sectional, population-based, observational study of major cardiovascular risk factors-including hypertension, diabetes, and hypercholesterolemia-in 7 Latin American cities. This report presents data on assessment, diagnosis, extent, and effectiveness of treatment, adherence to treatment, and reasons for nonadherence. Data were collected through household questionnaire-based interviews administered to 5383 men and 6167 women, 25-64 years of age, living in the following cities: Barquisimeto, Venezuela; Bogota, Colombia; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Lima, Peru; Mexico City, Mexico; Quito, Ecuador; and Santiago, Chile. Participants also completed a clinic visit for anthromorphometric and laboratory assessments. Rates of prior diagnosis of hypertension and diabetes were high (64% and 78% of affected individuals, respectively) but relatively low for hypercholesterolemia (41%). The majority of affected individuals (hypercholesterolemia 88%, diabetes 67%, and hypertension 53%) were untreated. Among individuals who were receiving pharmacologic treatment, targets for control of hypertension, diabetes, and hypercholesterolemia were achieved by 51%, 16%, and 52%, respectively. Adherence to treatment was observed in 69% of individuals with hypertension, 63% with diabetes, and 66% with hypercholesterolemia. Forgetfulness was the major cause of nonadherence for all 3 conditions. There is a substantial need for increasing patient education, diagnosis, treatment, adherence, and control of cardiovascular risk factors in the 7 Latin American cities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / drug therapy
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Complications / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Complications / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia / complications
  • Hypercholesterolemia / diagnosis
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Hypertension / diagnosis
  • Latin America / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Medication Adherence*
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urban Population