Review Addresses the Burden of CVD in India

To reduce premature death and disability from cardiovascular diseases, India may need to implement population-level policies while strengthening and integrating its local, regional and national health systems, according to a review published June 25 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

In this review, Dorairaj Prabhakaran, MD, DM, et al., address the rising prevalence of cardiovascular diseases in India over the past two decades due to population growth, aging and a stable age-adjusted cardiovascular disease mortality rate. They describe trends in the burden of cardiovascular diseases and risk factors in India compared with the U.S. – which has experienced an overall decline in age-adjusted cardiovascular disease mortality – and provide strategies to improve cardiovascular health behaviors, systems and policies in India.

To be comparable with the U.S, the authors note that India needs to implement similar population-level policies while strengthening its health systems, as achieving universal health coverage that includes financial risk protection should remain a goal to help all Indians realize their right to health. They also suggest quickly scaling up primordial, primary, secondary and tertiary prevention initiatives to reduce cardiovascular burden and using more creative strategies than the U.S. to contend with the limited resources and larger population.

Furthermore, the authors point out that innovative research across the translational spectrum will be essential for equitable cardiovascular disease prevention and control in India, with insights that could influence global efforts.

"Overall, the absolute burden of CVD has increased globally and has shifted heavily toward low- and middle-income countries such as India, largely because of population growth and aging," the authors write. "Addressing this significant burden of cardiovascular disease in such a large, complex and rapidly developing country requires an understanding of the complex dynamics of cardiovascular disease risk factors and their interactions."

Clinical Topics: Prevention

Keywords: United States, Risk Factors, Mortality, Premature, Prevalence, Population Growth, Tertiary Prevention, Developing Countries, Public Policy, Cardiovascular Diseases, Health Behavior, Aging, India

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