Costa Rican’s health does not seem to have a positive picture according to the latest Survey of Cardiovascular Risk Factors Monitoring by the Costa Rican Social Security System (CCSS in Spanish) in the second half of 2015.
According to the data, one million people in the country are overweight and 800,000 suffer from obesity, which increases the risk of diabetes, hypertension and heart problems.
In addition the overweight in the population rose from 36.1% to 36.8% over the last four years, and obesity from 23% to 29.4%, other conditions such as abnormal levels of cholesterol and triglycerides altered also showed an increase.
In the first case, the percentage of population affected rose from 12.6% to 13.7%, while the percentage of people affected by alterations in triglycerides increased from 44.8% to 45.8%.
On the other hand, the 2% increase in the number of Costa Ricans diabetics awoke alert in the authorities of the CCSS, not only because the economic costs involved but also because this disease is one of the triggers of cardiovascular disease, currently they represent the leading cause of disability and premature mortality in Costa Rica.
There is a bright side
Despite the increase in cardiovascular risk factors, the survey reveals an improvement in the habits of the population.
Thus, the consumption of fruits and vegetables, vital for a complete diet, increased from 22% in 2010 to 35% in 2014. Also, physical inactivity fell 6%, by going from 51% to 45%. That is, there is a greater number of people doing physical activity, especially in the range of adults over 40 years who turned out to be who exercise more frequently.
Finally, one of the most important results was the use of tobacco and alcohol. In the last four years 30,000 Costa Rican had quit smoking, going from 13 to 14% while 150,000 were able to overcome the harmful use of alcohol.