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The impact of cerebrovascular disease in Panama


  • Conflict of interest: The authors declare no potential conflict of interest.



In Latin America, the cerebrovascular disease is considered a catastrophic public health problem. The objective of this publication is to describe the demographic characteristics and risk factors of cerebrovascular disease in Panama.


A hospital-based stroke registry was carried out between 2005 and 2006 to record all patients with cerebrovascular disease admitted to the two major teaching public hospital in Panama City. A comparative analysis was realized of the risk factor of two regional survey studies in Panamá and Colón province on 2007 and 2010.


Sixty-three percent of the stroke was ischemic, and high blood pressure was the most common risk factor with 73%; the intrahospital mortality was 28·4%. In a National Health and Quality of Life Survey carried out in 2007, the crude prevalence of cerebrovascular disease was 0·7%. High blood pressure (22%), smoking (9·1%), alcoholism (10·8%), dyslipidemia (8·7%), and diabetes mellitus (5·4%) were the most common risk factors. In 2010, a survey to find out the Prevalence of Risk Factor Associated to Cardiovascular disease in the province of Panama and Colon found that crude prevalence of cerebrovascular disease was 1·6%. High blood pressure (28·4%), dyslipidemia (20·8%), and alcoholism (17·0%) were the most common risk factors.


Since 2013, both hospitals' intravenous thrombolytic therapy program has been successfully applied as public health policy. A successful campaign on healthy lifestyle must be strengthened through a comprehensive approach with other public sectors in order to have an impact on the population, particularly in children and adolescents.