Sophia Antipolis, France 23 November 2013: A cardiovascular disease (CVD) expert is calling for mandatory screening of 18 year-old Mexicans to halt the CVD epidemic plaguing the nation. Cardiovascular risk factors will be a key theme at the Mexican Congress of Cardiology, held 23 to 27 November in Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico. The Congress is organised by the Mexican Society of Cardiology (MSC) and features a collaborative programme with the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).
Dr Enrique C. Morales Villegas, Director of the Cardiometabolic Research Centre in Aguascalientes, Mexico, said: "I have proposed to the Mexican government that 18 year-olds should have obligatory measurements of glucose, cholesterol, blood pressure and body mass index (BMI), with repeat assessment every three years. Screening could be done in schools, shopping centres and other public places and if an abnormality is found a strategy should be in place to treat it. This would be easy and inexpensive and I am waiting for the government's response."
He added: "The Mexican diet is more dangerous than fast food chains. It's a combination of fried food, junk food and soft drinks. The philosophy of life is around comfort. People eat too much and everyday they watch 4 hours of TV, spend 2 hours at the computer and do less than 10 minutes of physical activity."
Dr Morales continued: "This combination of poor diet and sedentary lifestyles is the main cause of Mexico's obesity epidemic. Obesity is not just an aesthetic problem, it's a profound health problem and the consequences are diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure) and hypercholesterolaemia (high blood lipids) all known as cardiometabolic risk factors. This explains the very high mortality from cardiovascular diseases and diabetes in Mexico."
Mortality from cardiovascular diseases and diabetes rose by 9.5% in just one year, from 189 000 in 2009 to 207 000 in 2010. The latest Mexican Nationa
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European Society of Cardiology