‘More people die of heart diseases in poor countries'

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Aug 29, 2014 12:14 IST

A Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) study has found that in spite of lower level of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors in countries like India, the death rates are higher as compared to the developed countries. The study was carried out in rural Haryana and Chandigarh and was recently published in the world’s premier medical journal New England Journal of Medicine.

A PGI press release said the study was part of international research carried out in 17 countries and enrolled 1.56 lakh people from 628 urban and rural communities in 17 countries (3 high-income, 10 middle-income, and 4 low-income countries) and assessed their cardiovascular risk for quantifying risk-factor burden without the use of laboratory testing.

The study found that more than 80% of deaths from cardiovascular disease are estimated to occur in low-income and middle-income countries, but the reasons are unknown.

Dr Rajesh Kumar, head, School of Public Health, PGIMER, who is one of the authors of the study, said: “It has been found the cardiovascular risk was highest in high-income countries, intermediate in middle-income countries, and lowest in low-income countries . However, the rates of major cardiovascular events (death from cardiovascular causes, myocardial infarction, stroke, or heart failure) were lower in high-income countries than in middle- and low-income countries (3.99 deaths per 1000 person-years vs. 5.38 and 6.43 events per 1000 person-years, respectively.”

The study found that case fatality rates were also lowest in high-income countries. It was 6.5%, 15.9%, and 17.3% in high, middle, and low-income countries, respectively.

“Urban communities are at a higher risk than rural communities. The use of preventive medications and revascularisation procedures was significantly more common in high-income countries than in middle- or low-income countries, the study observed. The study concluded that the high burden of risk factors in high-income countries may have been mitigated by better control of risk factors and more frequent use of proven pharmacologic therapies and revascularisation.

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