Prevalence of coronary heart disease risk factors in Costa Rican adolescents

Rafael Monge, Oscar Beita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine the prevalence of coronary heart disease (CHD) risk factors among Costa Rican adolescents. Methods: The prevalence of high blood pressure, obesity, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, sedentarism, family history of premature CHD, saturated fat intake, diabetes mellitus, and cigarette smoking was determined in 328 adolescents, ages 12-18 years (167 males, 161 females), randomly selected from San Jose′s urban and rural high schools. Results: Over 70% of the adolescents studied presented one risk factor for CHD. While the prevalence of family history of premature CHD, sedentarism, and cigarette smoking was significantly higher in urban adolescents, low HDL cholesterol and high blood pressure were significantly higher in rural adolescents. Girls demonstrated a significantly higher prevalence of sedentarism and LDL cholesterol >2.9 mmol/L than boys. Elevated saturated fat intake (>10% total energy) was found in 37% of the adolescents. Conclusions: The prevalence of CHD risk factors among Costa Rican adolescents is high; particularly of saturated fat intake, sedentarism and low HDL-C levels. Primary prevention programs are urgently needed, especially among female adolescents and in the urban areas, to reduce the increased prevalence of CHD mortality among Costa Rican adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210-217
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2000


  • Adolescents
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Costa Rica
  • Gender differences
  • Risk factors
  • Saturated fat
  • Sedentarism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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