Puerto Rico Heart Health Program (PRHHP)

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Accession Number

Study Type
Epidemiology Study

Collection Type
Open BioLINCC Study See bottom of this webpage for request information

Study Period

NHLBI Division

Dataset(s) Last Updated
January 3, 2018

Clinical Trial URLs

Primary Publication URLs


Commercial Use Data Restrictions No

Data Restrictions Based On Area Of Research No


To investigate morbidity and mortality from CHD in Puerto Rican rural and urban men. The objectives of the study were: (1) to identify factors related to the development of CHD, (2) compare the etiology of disease in rural versus urban men, and (3) determine the prevalence and incidence of CHD and other cardiovascular diseases in Puerto Rican males.


As Puerto Rico became more industrialized in the 1940s and 1950s, mortality rates for CHD increased. Since many factors related to CHD can be relatively homogenous within a population, two contrasting subgroups were selected for study in Puerto Rico: a rural population of men from a mountainous community and an urban population selected from San Juan. The NHLBI initiated the Puerto Rico Heart Health Program in May, 1965 as a prospective study of lifestyle, environmental and biological factors in the progression of cardiovascular disease in Puerto Rican men.


A total of 9,824 (2,976 rural, 6,848 urban) men, age 45 to 64 were examined at the baseline exam.


The examination consisted of standardized questionnaires to determine education, occupation, smoking habits, and physical activity. Trained interviewers conducted a nutritional survey through a 24 hour diet recall. Subjects were also examined to determine prevalent cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and peripheral vascular abnormalities. The examination included vital capacity, a 12-lead ECG, and laboratory tests for hematocrit, glucose, serum cholesterol, serum glycercides and lipoprotein electrophoresis. A medical history was also obtained. Three additional exams, approximately three years apart, were conducted and morbidity and mortality follow-up concluded in 1980.

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