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- The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene,
The Prevalence of Chagas Disease among Latin American Immigrants with Pacemakers in Los Angeles, California
Chagas disease (CD), with associated conduction abnormalities, is a common indication for pacemaker implantation in Latin America. The prevalence of CD in Latin American immigrants with pacemakers residing in the United States has never been studied. This single ‐ center cross ‐ sectional study included pacemaker patients who were aged 18 years or more with a previous residence in Latin America for at least 6 months. Patients with an implantable cardioverter ‐ defibrillator, cardiac resynchronization therapy, or iatrogenic and/or congenital heart block were excluded. Serological testing for Trypanosoma cruzi was performed at enrollment. A total of 80 patients were enrolled, and CD was diagnosed in six patients (7.5%). Patients with CD were more likely to be from El Salvador (P = 0.001). Other clinical, therapeutic, electrocardiographic, and echocardiographic variables were similar between the CD and non-CD groups. There is a high prevalence of CD among Latin American immigrants with pacemakers in Los Angeles.