Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of premature death in the world. It includes conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, and other heart and circulatory diseases. A new study has revealed that premature deaths from heart disease and stroke could rise unless countries address the risk factors such as high blood pressure, tobacco use, obesity, and diabetes.
Researchers suggested that over the next decade, early deaths from cardiovascular disease are expected to climb from 5.9 million in 2013 to 7.8 million in 2025. This means that many United Nations member states will not meet targets set in 2013 as part of a global action plan to address non-communicable diseases, which includes reducing premature deaths from cardiovascular disease by 25% by 2025.
The UN target is achievable for some countries, including the United States, but only by addressing trends related to risk factors. If current trends continue, many of the world's most populous countries including China, India, Russia, Mexico, and Ethiopia would see no improvement in premature mortality rate due to heart disease and stroke. Southeast Asia, East Asia, and South Asia would account for 60% of these deaths.
Premature deaths from cardiovascular diseases would also rise in some countries in Africa, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. Countries such as the US, Brazil, and South Africa would see declines in premature mortality from cardiovascular disease but not enough to meet the UN goal of a 25% reduction.
Gregory Roth of the University of Washington said, "To have the greatest impact, we need to focus on the leading risk factors in each country. For most, that means healthier diets, more exercise, quitting tobacco, and less binge drinking of alcohol. But it also means investing in high-quality primary care and hospitals because many treatments for heart disease work well and can make a real difference."
Researcher Christopher Murray said, "Countries need to select policies focused on both prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Using the best available data now can help us make decisions that will impact future trends."
The study is published in Circulation.