Navigation Links
In an economic crash, public health improves
Date:4/10/2013

MAYWOOD, Il. The economic crash in Cuba following the fall of the Soviet Union has provided researchers with a unique natural experiment on obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

In the early 1990s, shortages of food and gasoline forced Cubans to eat less and do more walking and cycling. Adults lost, on average, 9 to 11 pounds, and type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease dropped sharply.

But after the economy began a slow but steady recovery, adults gradually gained back the weight they had lost, and then some. This weight gain was accompanied by a 116 percent increase in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes. And while heart disease deaths continued to decline, the rate of decrease slowed markedly, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal.

"There was a serendipitous positive outcome that resulted from a negative experience," said Richard S. Cooper, MD, senior author of the study, which involved researchers from the United States, Spain and Cuba. Cooper is chair of the Department of Public Health Sciences of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

Researchers said the Cuba experience provides a "unique, 30-year natural experiment," which for the first time documents the impact that a population-wide cycle of weight loss and weight gain has on diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

From 1991 to 1995, Cuba experienced a profound economic crisis due to the loss of Soviet subsidies and a tightening of the U.S. trade embargo. There were severe shortages of food and gasoline. Motorized transport virtually shut down, and more than one million bicycles were distributed. Energy intake from food dropped from about 3,000 calories per day to fewer than 2,400 calories per day. But by 2002, energy intake rebounded to above pre-crisis levels.

Researchers conducted four population surveys of Cubans aged 15 to 72. The surveys, conducted in the city of Cienfuegos on the southern coast of Cuba, were conducted in 1991 (1,657 participants) 1995 (1,351 participants), 2001 (1,667 participants) and 2011 (1,492 participants).

During the economic crisis years, 80 percent of the population was classified as physically active. That has since dropped to the current rate of 55 percent. The percentage of the population that was overweight or obese increased from 33.5 percent in 1995 to 52.9 percent in 2011.

Following the economic crisis years, mortality from coronary heart disease decreased sharply, at a rate of 6.5 percent per year. But after 2002, the rate of decline slowed to 1.4 percent per year, similar to pre-crisis years.

"The Cuban experience demonstrates that within a relatively short period, modest weight loss in the whole population can have a profound effect on the overall burden of diabetes," researchers wrote. "In Cuba, weight loss also had a major effect on trends in cardiovascular diseases and all-cause of mortality."

Researchers conclude that their findings provide a "dramatic illustration of the potential health benefits of reversing the global obesity epidemic."

In an accompanying editorial, Walter C. Willett of the Harvard School of Public Health writes that the findings "add powerful evidence that a reduction in overweight and obesity would have major population-wide benefits. To achieve this is perhaps the major public health and societal challenge of the century."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jim Ritter
jritter@lumc.edu
708-216-2445
Loyola University Health System
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. UC Irvine study finds racial, economic disparities in ovarian cancer care, survival
2. Economic theory actually works in health care
3. Hospital readmission rates linked to availability of care, socioeconomics
4. Study finds socioeconomic status linked to weight gain and risk of obesity in African-American women
5. Neuroeconomics to study decision-making in anxious individuals
6. Classifying neural circuit dysfunctions using neuroeconomics
7. Socioeconomic disadvantage linked to breast cancer tumor disparity
8. Ethnic disparities in breast cancer survival remain despite socioeconomic similarities
9. Study Tallies Economic Fallout From Workers Heart Attacks
10. Socioeconomic status linked to childhood peanut allergy
11. Better Economic Status Tied to Peanut Allergy in Kids: Study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... A revolution is underway. ... ambulance transport experience for the millions of people who require these medical transport ... taxi industry through the use of technology. Now, SmartEMS has put forth an ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements owned by Whole Health Supply ... health of felines. The formula is all-natural and is made from Chinese herbs that ... Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus Root Extract and Rehmannia Root ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June ... , brings up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to ... is not a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice have ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van ... Wellness at Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite ... 7th annual Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. Prone to extreme mood shifts and ... him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. “If there was a knife on ... say he was going to kill them. If we were driving on the freeway, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... Belgium , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the appointment of Dr. Edward Futcher ... a Non-Executive Director, effective June 23, 2016.Dr. Futcher ... and Nominations and Governance Committees.  As a non-executive ... provide independent expertise and strategic counsel to VolitionRx ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Research and Markets ... Market - Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... method for the patients with kidney failure, it replaces the ... from the patient,s blood and thus the treatment helps to ... chloride in balance. Increasing number of ESRD ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  In a startling report released today, ... their residents by lacking a comprehensive, proven plan to eliminate prescription ... definitive ranking of how states are tackling the worst drug crisis ... four states – Kentucky , New ... Vermont . Of the 28 failing states, three – ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: