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Male involvement in cardiovascular preventive healthcare in two rural Costa Rican communities

Journal Article

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Preventative Medicine, Vol. 40, page(s): 690-5

6/2005

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BACKGROUND: Gender differences in health system usage can lead to differences in the incidence of morbidity and mortality. We conducted a pilot screening targeted towards men to evaluate gender differences in cardiovascular disease risk factor detection and time since last clinic visit.

METHODS: Three evening sessions in two communities screened 148 people, mean age 47.7 years. Height, weight, body mass index, blood pressure, blood glucose, and total cholesterol were measured. A questionnaire on past medical history was administered. Participants with elevated measurements were referred to appropriate care.

RESULTS: Men accounted for 60.1% of those screened; 65.5% of the group was overweight, and 22.3% was obese with 42.6% hypertension, 39.2% hypercholesterolemia, and 2.7% high blood glucose. Among men aged 35 to 65, 65.2% were overweight, 20.3% obese, 46.4% hypertensive, 42.0% hypercholesterolemic, and 1.5% with high blood glucose. Within the last 2 years, 53.3% of men and 9.1% of women aged 35 to 65 had not visited a doctor (P = 0.004).

CONCLUSIONS: A significant portion of those screened had elevated cardiovascular disease risk factors. Given that men visited doctors significantly less frequently, efforts to involve men in prevention of cardiovascular disease within these communities are warranted.

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