Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Cardiovascular Disease-A Global Health Time Bomb

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Cardiovascular Disease-A Global Health Time Bomb

Article excerpt

Cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes--usually associated with wealthy, developed countries--have become far more prevalent in poorer, less developed countries than previously thought, according to a new report published by Columbia University's Earth Institute in New York on 26 April.

The report, A Race against Time: The Challenge of Cardiovascular Disease in Developing Economies, concluded that cardiovascular diseases could become a public health time bomb in developing countries if too little is done to reverse the trend.

Dr Shanthi Mendis, Coordinator of WHO's Cardiovascular Diseases unit described the report as "a compelling and cogent argument to convince policy-makers and politicians of the need for commitment, development and implementation of policies for prevention and control of the cardiovascular diseases epidemic."

The researchers, led by Australian epidemiologist Stephen Leeder, analysed mortality and disease data from four middle-income countries: Brazil, China, South Africa and the Russian Republic of Tatarstan, and one low-income country, India.

They found that even if nothing changes in the next 30 years, population growth alone will lead to major increases in cardiovascular disease in developing countries which could severely curb workforce productivity and economic progress. According to the report, the problem is often neglected by developed countries, whose chief health-care priority is infectious diseases such as AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. …

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