Living alone and cardiovascular health status in residents of a rural village of coastal Ecuador (The Atahualpa Project)

Oscar H. Del Brutto, Daniel Tettamanti, Victor J. Del Brutto, Mauricio Zambrano, Martha Montalván

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objectives: Knowledge of region-specific factors affecting the cardiovascular health (CVH) is mandatory to reduce the growing burden of stroke and ischemic heart disease in rural areas of Latin American. We conducted a population-based case-control study to assess the CVH status of Atahualpa residents - a rural village representative of Coastal Ecuador - according to their living arrangements. Methods: All Atahualpa residents aged ≥40 years and free of stroke or ischemic heart disease that lived alone were identified during a door-to-door census, and their CVH status was compared to that of a sample of residents that lived with relatives. Four controls individually matched for age, gender, education, job and alcohol intake, and randomly selected from different households, were selected for each case-person. Results: A total of 185 persons (37 who lived alone and 148 matched controls) were included. A poor CVH status was found in 89.2 % case-patients and 72.3 % controls (p = 0.03). We found significantly worse levels of physical activity (p < 0.0001) and non-significant trends for worse healthy diet and glucose levels among case-persons than controls. Conclusions: This study suggests that social isolation is associated with a worse CVH in rural coastal Ecuador. An ongoing community-based intervention may prove effective to improve CVH status in these social isolated persons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)422-425
Number of pages4
JournalEnvironmental Health and Preventive Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Atahualpa
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Case-control study
  • Ecuador
  • Social isolation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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