|Survey on Diabetes, Hypertension, and Chronic Disease Risk Factors: San José, Costa Rica|
Since March 2000, Costa Rica has been part of the Central American Diabetes Initiative (CAMDI), a subregional initiative sponsored by PAHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, Atlanta, USA). Within this framework, a survey was carried out in all the capital cities of the Central American isthmus. The fundamental purpose is of this research was to serve as a starting point for the implementation of chronic disease surveillance and control of in the Central American subregion.
The initial emphasis of the survey was limited to diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and chronic disease risk factors in people of 20 and older, mainly because it has been observed that these are "silent" diseases. For this reason, it is estimated that between 30 and 50% of those suffering from chronic disease do not know they are ill and begin to manifest chronic complications without having ever been diagnosed.
The presence of such diseases constitutes a conditioning factor in the quality of life of these individuals, since it directly affects them both socially and economically and in addition has a negative impact on both the community and the country. To date, these diseases have not been considered as an important part of the health problems of underdeveloped countries; and it is expected that the results of this survey will reflect the real dimension of the problem in such a way that chronic disease will be incorporated as a priority in the countries' health agendas.
In Costa Rica, the implementation of the survey was justified by the change in the epidemiological profile and by the increase of the number of adults that seek medical attention for hypertension and diabetes. The results obtained will provide support for planning health services by aligning them with the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of the population to be served.
Finally, we wish to recognize the contribution made by governmental institutions and participating international organizations. All this happened thanks to strategic partnerships traditionally established for this type of studies-for despite their tremendous usefulness and the good coverage and quality of the information, there were only limited public resources available for carrying out these studies.
General objective: Become familiarized with the prevalence of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and other risk factors associated such as dyslipidemias, dietary practices, obesity, sedentary lifestyles, smoking, and alcohol consumption in the adult population of the metropolitan area under study, for the purpose of designing intervention strategies that will be useful for public health purposes.
Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization