The major risk factors for cardiovascular diseases in Latin Americans were outlined in a report in a journal called circulation. They are obesity, high cholesterol level and smoking. This was divulged by the lead author of this report Dr. Fernando Lanas, from the Universidad de la Frontera in Temuco in Chile.
Findings from Interheart, an international study which analyzed the patterns of heart attacks were also taken into consideration for this study. This appears to be the largest study of cardiac risk factors compiled from 6 Latin American countries viz. Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Guatemala, and Mexico.
Comparison of 1,237 heart attack victims was done with 1,888 people who did not experience it. On a population level, obesity, high cholesterol levels, and smoking were found to trigger heart attacks while continuous psychological stress and high blood pressure were found to be the reasons for cardiac failure at an individual level. Diabetes, smoking, obesity, and high cholesterol are next in line to contribute to cases of heart attacks.
According to Dr. Sidney C. Smith, of the University of North Carolina, a worldwide accent must be placed on lifestyle changes reiterating the importance of healthy diet and exercises. He also added that the younger population must be addressed on these issues to have permanent health benefits on the society on cardiovascular diseases.