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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

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


PENA, Melissa S. Burroughs; ABDALA, Carmen Verônica Mendes; SILVA, Luis Carlos  and  ORDUNEZ, Pedro. Usefulness for surveillance of hypertension prevalence studies in Latin America and the Caribbean: the past 10 years. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2012, vol.32, n.1, pp.15-21. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the usefulness for surveillance of the peer-reviewed literature on the prevalence of hypertension in Latin America and the Caribbean published from 2001 to 2010 with a previous study of the published literature from 1962 to 2000. METHODS: A bibliographic search was conducted of publications from 2001 to 2010 that examined the prevalence of hypertension using MEDLINE and LILACS databases. The methodology of each paper was evaluated with the same critical appraisal tool used in the previous study. RESULTS: A total of 81 papers were published from 2001 to 2010 on the prevalence of hypertension in Latin America and the Caribbean. Only 24 of these studies met the minimum methodologic criteria for evaluation. While the total number of studies published in the past 10 years exceeds the number published from 1962 to 2000, the percentage of studies that met the minimum methodologic criteria has not substantially increased. In addition to major methodologic shortcomings, less than 46% of the published studies reported rates of awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension. The hypertension prevalence estimates from the peer-reviewed literature range from 7% to 49%. These studies were primarily done in urban centers and are not evenly distributed throughout the region. CONCLUSIONS: The quality and geographic distribution of the published literature on the prevalence of hypertension in Latin America and the Caribbean are inadequate. Research resources and efforts should be directed in the future toward closing this gap.

Keywords : Hypertension; risk factors; epidemiological surveillance; cross-sectional studies; Latin America; Caribbean region.

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