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Exploring cardiovascular health: the Healthy Life in Suriname (HELISUR) study. A protocol of a cross-sectional study
  1. Frederieke S Diemer1,2,
  2. Jet Q Aartman2,
  3. Fares A Karamat2,
  4. Sergio M Baldew3,
  5. Ameerani V Jarbandhan3,
  6. Gert A van Montfrans4,
  7. Glenn P Oehlers1,
  8. Lizzy M Brewster2,5,6
  1. 1Department of Cardiology, Academic Hospital Paramaribo, Paramaribo, Suriname
  2. 2Department of Vascular Medicine, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  3. 3Department of Physiotherapy, Anton de Kom University of Suriname, Paramaribo, Suriname
  4. 4Department of Internal Medicine, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  5. 5Department of Public Health, Anton de Kom University of Suriname, Paramaribo, Suriname
  6. 6Department of Social Medicine, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Frederieke S Diemer; fdiemer{at}


Introduction Obesity, hypertension and diabetes are on a dramatic rise in low-income and middle-income countries, and this foretells an overwhelming increase in chronic disease burden from cardiovascular disease. Therefore, rapid action should be taken through preventive population-based programmes. However, in these regions, data on the population distribution of cardiovascular risk factors, and of intermediate and final end points for cardiovascular disease are scarce. The Healthy Life in Suriname (HELISUR) study is a cardiovascular population study in Suriname, which is part of the Caribbean Community. The HELISUR study is dedicated to provide data on risk factors and prevalent cardiovascular disease in the multiethnic population, which is mainly of African and Asian descent.

Methods and analysis In a cross-sectional, observational population-based setting, a random representative sample of 1800 citizens aged between 18 and 70 years will be selected using a cluster household sampling method. Self-reported demographic, socioeconomic and (cardiovascular) health-related data will be collected. Physical examination will include the assessment of cardiovascular risk factors and prevalent cardiovascular disease. In addition, we will study cardiovascular haemodynamics non-invasively, as a novel intermediate outcome. Finally, fasting blood and overnight urine samples will be collected to monitor cardiometabolic risk factors. The main outcome will be descriptive in reporting the prevalence of risk factors and measures of (sub) clinical end organ damage, stratified for ethnicity and sex-age groups.

Ethics and dissemination Ethical approval has been obtained from the State Secretary of Health. Data analysis and manuscript submission are scheduled for 2016. Findings will be disseminated in peer-reviewed journals, and at national, regional and international scientific meetings. Importantly, data will be presented to Surinamese policymakers and healthcare workers, to develop preventive strategies to combat the rapid rise of cardiovascular disease.


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