Dec 5, 2008

World - Poor in India, China have limited access to cardio-treatment

Sydney, Dec 4 (IANS) Cardiovascular epidemic is making inroads in many low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) like India and China, but the poor have limited or no access to treatment facilities.

Cardiovascular disease was the leading cause of death globally in 2005 with more LMICs alone accounting for more than 80 percent of these deaths from cardiovascular disease in 2005.

India, for example, has twice the mortality rate from cardiovascular-related deaths among people of working age between 39 and 59 years, compared to the USA.

In China, stroke, chronic obstructive airways diseases, cancer and heart disease are the four highest contributors to the country's total disease burden. Almost half of these are due to cardiovascular disease, according to a release of George Institute of International Health, Australia.

The paper reveals that cardiovascular disease risk factors like obesity, high blood pressure, tobacco smoking and diabetes, are on the increase in LMICs.

China's obesity rate, for example, has increased fourfold over the past two decades. In addition to the disease burden, there is a large economic burden from loss of family income and loss of long term productive working years because people of working age in LMICs are most disease-prone.

These findings were published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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