Heart Attack :: Latin Americans can reduce heart attack risk by lifestyle changes

The three major risk factors for heart attacks among Latin Americans could be reduced through lifestyle changes, according to a study published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association in a special Latin American-themed issue called Heart Disease in Latin America.

?Knowledge of the peculiarities of heart disease and risks factors in Latin American countries, as presented in this issue of Circulation, contributes to the general understanding of the causes, methods, procedures and processes of cardiovascular disease,? said Edgardo Escobar, M.D., editor of the Latin American-themed issue and professor of medicine at the University of Chile in Santiago, Chile.

Abdominal obesity, abnormal lipids and smoking account for 77.6 percent of the heart attack risks according to the largest-ever study of such risks in Latin America.

?Interventions to encourage lifestyle changes that target those risks could have a large impact on heart attacks in the region,? said Fernando Lanas, M.D., M.Sc., lead author of one study and professor of medicine at the Universidad de la Frontera in Temuco, Chile.

Ischemic heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide and accounts for more than a fourth of all deaths in Latin America, Lanas said. The analysis was part of INTERHEART, an international case-control study to assess the impact of well-established and emerging heart attack risk factors in various regions of the world.

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