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Latin American Studies Consortium in Obesity (LASO)

The Population Health M.S.\Ph.D Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison


Obesity is a progressively increasing public health problem in Latin America. The large impact of obesity on the health of the population results from its high prevalence and its strong association with the incidence of cardiovascular diseases and other chronic diseases. In spite of the burden of obesity, efforts to quantify its frequency, identify its individual and population determinants, and establish its impact on the incidence of cardiovascular diseases in Latin America have been limited.

The goal of the Latin American Studies Consortium in Obesity (LASO) is to generate a framework to stimulate and strengthen the level of communication, knowledge transfer, and data sharing among investigators with interest in Latin America. LASO’s purpose is to efficiently contribute to the characterization of the frequency and determinants of obesity and its association with cardiovascular diseases in the Latin American population.
LASO’s main strategy is the systematic integration of data from population studies of obesity and cardiovascular risk factors in Latin America. Pooling studies from different countries and populations will allow us to obtain updated and precise estimates of the prevalence of obesity, its determinants and its impact on population health. This will be helpful in designing and proposing effective prevention strategies.


- To determine the prevalence and distribution of obesity by sociodemographic characteristics in the Latin American population.

- Identify ethnic, socioeconomic, nutritional and behavioral factors associated with the incidence of obesity:

- Estimate the strength of the association between obesity and classical cardiovascular risk factors, such as hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and diabetes in the Latin American population.

- Establish what measures of obesity (i.e. body mass index, waist circumference, waist to hip ratio) best predict the risk of cardiovascular disease in the Latin American population.


List of studies include in LASO up to August 2007

Participation in Scientific Meetings



Coordinating Center

Principal Investigators

Leonelo E. Bautista, MD, DrPH                                               Juan P. Casas, MD

Assistant Professor                                                             Clinical Lecturer in Epidemiology

Department of Population Health Sciences                               London School of Hygiene and

University of Wisconsin                                                        Tropical Medicine

610 Walnut Street                                                               Keppel Street, London WC1E 7HT

Madison, WI United States                                                    United Kingdom                                                  

Tel: (608)265-6176                                                             Tel: (44)  207 927 2163

Fax: (608)263-2120                                                             Fax: (44) 207 580 6897


Víctor M. Herrera, MD                                                           Liam Smeeth, MRCGP, MSc, PhD.          

University of Wisconsin                                                         London School of Hygiene

Universidad Autónoma de Bucaramanga                                    Professor of Clinical Epidemiology                                                     


Pablo Perel, MD, MSc                                                            Jaime Miranda, MD, MSc         

Research Fellow                                                                   Wellcome Trust Research Fellow                                              

                                                                                                                                                                                 Participant Researchers


Norberto Schapochnik                                                            Daniel Ferrante

Ministerio de Salud de la Provincia de                                        Programa VIGILANCIA,

Tierra del Fuego                                                                    Ministerio de Salud y Ambiente                                                   


Zulma Ortiz

Instituto de Investigaciones Epidemiológicas

Academia Nacional de Medicina

Buenos Aires



Encuesta Nacional de Salud                                                      Estudio Empleados Sector Servicio

Ximena Aguilera                                                                      Fernando Tomas Lanas Zanetti                 

Ministerio de Salud de Chile                                                       Universidad de la Frontera                                                   


Catterina Ferreccio                                                                  José Antonio del Solar                                               

Pontificia Universidad Católica                                                    Mutual de Seguridad, Santiago                                                                           



Luis Fernando Gómez G.
Fundación FES Social.


Myriam Orostegui Arenas

Universidad Industrial de Santander

Centro de Investigaciones Epidemiológicas


Costa Rica

Luis Rosero Bixby

Director, Centro Centroamericano de Población,

Universidad de Costa Rica


Dominican Republic

Rafael Pichardo                                                                          Angel González

Director, Instituto Dominicano de Cardiología                                   Instituto Dominicano de Cardiología



Beatriz Diaz-Apodaca

Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad de Juárez

Departamento de Epidemiología



PREVENCION study                                                                      ENINBSC-ECNT-2005-PERU study

Julio A. Chirinos, MD                                                                    Jose Sánchez

University of Miami School of Medicine                                            Centro Nacional de Alimentación y                                                              Nutrición, Instituto Nacional de
                                                                                               Salud, Lima, Perú


Jaime Miranda, MD

Wellcome Trust Research Fellow

Lima, Perú


Puerto Rico

Cynthia M. Pérez, PhD                                                                   Ana Patricia Ortiz, PhD

University of Puerto Rico                                                                University of Puerto Rico                                                            


Erick Suárez, PhD

University of Puerto Rico



Margarita Díaz, MD,

Centro de Investigación Médica Académica,


Comité de Salud Pública de la Sociedad

Latinoamericana de Hipertensión




Eglé Silva
Instituto Regional de Investigación y Estudios de Enfermedades Cardiovasculares.

Universidad del Zulia.





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