Study for the detection and follow up of cardiovascular disease risk factors in the southern cone of Latin America (CESCAS I)
Adolfo Rubinstein, Jiang He, Vilma Irazola, Héctor Olivera, Nora Mores, Matías Calandrelli, Fernando Lanas, Pamela Serón, Jacqueline Ponzo, Rosana Poggio, Edgardo Sobrino, Natalia Elorriaga
Even though cardiovascular disease accounts for 17.7 million deaths per year globally (which accounts for 11% of total deaths) there is no data specific to cardiovascular disease in the Southern Cone. This scientific study is the first study ever to measure the status of cardiovascular disease in this region’s population.
This study was designed to research into the prevalence (frequency), incidence, and distribution of risk factors for cardiovascular disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the general population. This means that, among other things, this study will create knowledge about the amount of infarctions, strokes and other cardiovascular diseases, and the role played by each risk factor (high cholesterol, diabetes, overweight, obesity, hypertension, smoking, a sedentary lifestyle, and an unhealthy diet).
Currently, the long-term impact of said risk factors is ignored. This study is already making measurements, and study participants (from Uruguay, Argentina and Chile) will be followed up for 4 years. Thus, it will be possible to know the true clinical, social, and economic impact of cardiovascular disease risk factors in the Southern Cone.
The main strengths of this study include: sample size (8,000 participants), a 4-year follow-up and the fact that the study is very representative. The sample is a random multistage sample that represents the Southern Cone’s adult population broadly by covering four districts (1,000 people between 35 and 74 years of age per area): Bariloche (province of Río Negro, Argentina), Marcos Paz (province of Buenos Aires, Argentina), Temuco (Chile), and Canelones (Uruguay).
During the first part of the study, a team of interviewers—especially trained and duly identified—visits 8,000 households conducting a survey about habits and health-related lifestyle aspects. Respondents are required to undergo medical examinations which are completely free of charge (blood pressure, weight, height, and abdominal girth are recorded; EKG; pulmonary function test; and fasting blood glucose, lipid profile, and creatinine level). Lastly, and until the end of the project, an annual follow-up telephone call is made to participants and more tests are conducted. In addition to this, blood samples are then stored in ultra-freezers at -80°C for future studies to be conducted with participants’ consent.
This study is being carried out by CESCAS I (the Southern Cone American Center of Excellence of Cardiovascular Health, for its Spanish acronym), which is coordinated by the IECS (the Argentine Institute for Clinical Effectiveness and Health Policy, for its Spanish acronym) in close collaboration with Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine (USA), and two Southern Cone universities: Universidad de La Frontera de Temuco (Chile), and Universidad de la República de Montevideo (Uruguay).
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