Revista Cubana de Salud Pública
versión On-line ISSN 0864-3466
ORDUNEZ GARCIA, Pedro O et al. Cardiovascular diseases in Cuba: Determinants for an epidemic and challenges in prevention and control. Rev Cubana Salud Pública [online]. 2005, vol.31, n.4, pp. 0-0. ISSN 0864-3466.
Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) have become step by step an important health problem in the developing countries. However, due to very limited public healthcare statistics, most of these countries do not have a properly detailed description of trends in mortality and its risk factors. Cuba is a noticeable exception that may shed new light on the changing patterns of CVD in non-industrialized nations. Available health statistics, a set of surveys administered to the population and reports on the use of health care services in Cuba were reviewed. CVD have been the main cause of death nationwide from 1970 on. From that year to 2003, there was a 41% reduction in age-adjusted mortality rate. Decreasing tendency has been more remarkable in ischemic heart diseases since the second half of the 90´s. However, the decrease of cardiovascular diseases has been more modest, taking place mostly in the last years. The present profile of risk factors includes moderate prevalence of hypercholesterolemia, hypertension and diabetes in addition to high smoking rates. With its limited economic resources, the Cuban health care system has energetically met the challenges posed by CVD for example, the levels of treatment and control of hypertension are among the highest in the world. As it has been demonstrated in other health care areas, the unique strengths of social welfare system in Cuba give rise to a great potential for controlling CVD through the prevention work at primary care. This requires a strategic turn going from an increasing confidence on health technologies and services to community-based interventions and political initiatives in order to particularly change dietary and smoking patterns
Palabras llave : cardiovascular diseases; risk factors; mortality; prevention; control; programs; Cuba.