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Risk Factors for Chronic Diseases and Multimorbidity in a Primary Care Context of Central Argentina: A Web-Based Interactive and Cross-Sectional Study

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      Global health agencies estimate an increase of chronic diseases in South America. Nevertheless, few studies have investigated chronic diseases and their risk factors in the perspective of multimorbidity. This research aimed to identify these aspects in a primary health care setting of central Argentina. The Pan America version of the STEP wise approach surveillance (STEPS) instrument of the World Health Organization was applied to 1044 participants, 365 men and 679 women, with a mean age of 43 years. High prevalence of overweight (33.5%), obesity (35.2%), central obesity (54%), dyslipidemia (43.5%), metabolic syndrome (21.1%), low intake of fruit and vegetables (91.8%), low levels of physical activity (71.5%), risky alcohol consumption (28%), and smoking (22.5%) were detected. Hypertension and diabetes were the most prevalent chronic conditions and the total prevalence of multimorbidity was 33.1%, with 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 chronic conditions found in 19.9%, 9.1%, 2.6%, 1.1% and 0.4% of the population, respectively. Multimorbidity affected 6.4% of the young, 31.7% of the adults, and 60.6% of the elderly, and was more prevalent among women, and in participants with lower levels of education. Having multimorbidity was significantly associated with obesity, central obesity, and higher concentrations of total blood cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, and glucose. A website was made available to the participants in order to share the experimental results and health-promoting information.

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          Harmonizing the metabolic syndrome: a joint interim statement of the International Diabetes Federation Task Force on Epidemiology and Prevention; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; American Heart Association; World Heart Federation; International Atherosclerosis Society; and International Association for the Study of Obesity.

          A cluster of risk factors for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus, which occur together more often than by chance alone, have become known as the metabolic syndrome. The risk factors include raised blood pressure, dyslipidemia (raised triglycerides and lowered high-density lipoprotein cholesterol), raised fasting glucose, and central obesity. Various diagnostic criteria have been proposed by different organizations over the past decade. Most recently, these have come from the International Diabetes Federation and the American Heart Association/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The main difference concerns the measure for central obesity, with this being an obligatory component in the International Diabetes Federation definition, lower than in the American Heart Association/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute criteria, and ethnic specific. The present article represents the outcome of a meeting between several major organizations in an attempt to unify criteria. It was agreed that there should not be an obligatory component, but that waist measurement would continue to be a useful preliminary screening tool. Three abnormal findings out of 5 would qualify a person for the metabolic syndrome. A single set of cut points would be used for all components except waist circumference, for which further work is required. In the interim, national or regional cut points for waist circumference can be used.

            Author and article information

            [1]Center for Health Sciences Research, School of Medicine & Health Sciences, Universidad Adventista del Plata, Libertador San Martín, 25 de Mayo 99, Entre Ríos 3103, Argentina; (D.E.V.O.); (F.R.V.C.); (E.M.M.C.); (S.O.S.P.)
            [2]Institute for Food Science and Nutrition, Universidad Adventista del Plata, Libertador San Martín, 25 de Mayo 99, Entre Ríos 3103, Argentina;
            [3]Department of Public Health, Nutrition and Wellness, School of Health Professions, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, MI 49104, USA
            Author notes
            [*]Correspondence:; Tel.: +54-343-491-8000 (ext. 1236 or 1387); Fax: +54-343-491-0300

            These authors contributed equally to this work.

            Role: Academic Editor
            Int J Environ Res Public Health
            Int J Environ Res Public Health
            International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
            02 March 2017
            March 2017
            : 14
            : 3
            Harry H.X. Wang (Academic Editor)
            © 2017 by the authors.

            Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (

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