Cardiovascular disease and hypertension in sub-Saharan Africa: burden, risk and interventions

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Cappuccio, Francesco Paolo ; Miller, Michelle Avril (2016)
  • Publisher: Springer Nature
  • Journal: Internal and Emergency Medicine, volume 11, pages 299-305 (issn: 1828-0447, eissn: 1970-9366)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1007/s11739-016-1423-9, pmc: PMC4820479
  • Subject: Cardiovascular disease | Drug therapy | Emergency Medicine | Internal Medicine | Im - Review | Hypertension | Sub-Saharan Africa | Salt reduction

Cardiovascular disease, including stroke, heart failure and kidney disease, have been common in sub-Saharan Africa for many years and rapid urbanization is causing an upsurge of ischaemic heart disease and metabolic disorders. At least two thirds of cardiovascular deaths\ud now occur in low-and-middle-income countries, bringing a double burden of disease to poor and developing world economies. High blood pressure (or hypertension) is by far the commonest underlying risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Its prevention, detection, treatment and control in sub-Saharan Africa are haphazard and sub-optimal. This is due to a combination of lack of resources and healthcare systems, non-existent effective preventive strategies at a population level, lack of sustainable drug therapy and barriers to complete adherence to prescribed medications. The economic impact in regard to loss of productive years of life and the need to divert scarce resources to tertiary care is substantial.\ud
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