Aging, smoking, high blood pressure and other risk factors will increase annual heart disease and stroke rates in China by up to a drastic 73 percent by 2030, researchers have said.
This would mean that 21.3 million more people will die of cardiovascular diseases alongwith 7.7 million related deaths.
The only way to avoid such a situation would be if China dramatically eliminates smoking in men, or lowers high blood pressure in men and women.
"China is a prime example of a middle income nation in transition. The country's standard of living and life expectancy have improved for many, but aging, dietary changes and less physical activity are leading to more heart disease and stroke," said lead author Andrew Moran, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, N.Y.
"Our study used a computer model to forecast future cardiovascular disease in Chinese adults, and is the first to project the individual and combined effects of major risk factor trends on a national scale."
Demographic changes will be the main driver of the CVD epidemic in China in the next two decades, Moran said.
To counter this possibility, Moran advises an aggressive anti-tobacco policy and control of elevated blood pressure.
Moran and colleagues reviewed risk factor surveys of Chinese adults, ages 35-84, since economic reforms in the 1980s, and used them to project future trends in blood pressure, cholesterol, smoking, diabetes and body weight.
Although smoking prevalence has declined in men by more than 10 percent since the mid 1980s, 62 percent of Chinese men still smoke, and 49 percent of non-smokers, mostly women, are exposed to passive smoke, researchers said. (ANI)