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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


MACDONALD, Jennifer; BREVARD, Patricia B.; LEE, Robert E.  and  WAGNER, Tammy. Link between diet and cardiovascular disease in Latin America and the Caribbean using geographic information systems. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2009, vol.26, n.4, pp.290-298. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the visual, spatial, and/or statistical relationships between food availability/dietary patterns and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). METHODS: CVD mortality rates and diet information (the number of kilocalories and amount of alcohol, fats, fish, fruits, meats, sugars, and vegetables available per person daily) were obtained from internationally available databases. The analyses included 32 LAC countries with sufficient data (15 of 47 had been excluded for incomplete data). Pearson's correlations (r) were used to determine relationships between diet and CVD mortality, and multiple linear regression analysis was conducted to identify predictors of mortality. ArcGIS version 9.2 (Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc., Redlands, California, United States) was used to construct maps to explore visual relationships between CVD and diet. RESULTS: No relationships were found between CVD and alcohol, fruit, meat, sugar, or vegetable intake. Statistically significant, positive correlations were found between oil-crops (r = 0.680, P = 0.000) and fish and seafood (r = 0.411, P = 0.019) and CVD mortality. Regression analysis revealed that high kilocalorie availability was a predictor of low CVD mortality (P = 0.020). High oil-crop availability was a predictor of high CVD mortality (P = 0.000). Maps constructed show visual relationships between availability of fish and seafood, kilocalories, and oil-crops, and CVD mortality. CONCLUSIONS: Fish and seafood, kilocalorie, and oil-crop availability appear to be related to CVD mortality, but further investigation is needed. Associations between diet and CVD mortality create the opportunity to target specific countries for nutrition education and CVD prevention programs.

Keywords : Cardiovascular diseases; diet; food consumption; geographic information systems; mortality; Latin America; Caribbean Region.

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