Cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attacks, strokes, and other circulatory diseases are the leading cause of premature death in the world. Despite the gains in prevention and treatment, the number of deaths from cardiovascular diseases is on the rise, revealed a new study by University of Washington. Globally, the number of deaths due to cardiovascular diseases increased by 41% between 1990 and 2013, climbing from 12.3 million deaths to 17.3 million deaths. The study also noted that progress in fighting cardiovascular diseases is evident around the world but varies by region.
South Asia, which includes India, experienced the largest jump in total deaths due to cardiovascular diseases, with 1.8 million more deaths in 2013 than in 1990, an increase of 97%. In line with global trends, the increase in deaths from cardiovascular disease in India is driven by population growth and aging without the decrease in age-specific death rates found in several other countries.
This pattern is reversed to a certain extent in the Middle East and North Africa, which includes countries such as Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and Jordan. In these regions, population growth and aging have been offset by a significant decline in age-specific death rates from cardiovascular disease, which has kept the increase in deaths to just fewer than 50%.
Central Europe and Western Europe have managed to reduce death rates by 5.2% and also the total number of deaths from cardiovascular diseases by 12.8%, between 1990 and 2013.
Researcher Gregory Roth said, "Cardiovascular diseases will remain a global threat as the population grows and people age, but the progress seen in some regions shows that reducing the toll of cardiovascular diseases is possible."
The study is published in The New England Journal of Medicine.