Advancing Cardiovascular Health in India Roundtable: Outcomes Report

Given the size of both the country and the population, and the fact that roughly 10% of the population lives below the international poverty line, it’s not surprising that the burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), including cardiovascular diseases, is high in India. In fact, mortality from NCDs accounted for 65% of total deaths in India in 2019, of which more than 25% could be attributed to cardiovascular diseases and related risk factors like diabetes.

More recently, updated findings from the Global Burden of Diseases Collaboration, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, showed age-standardized mortality rates from cardiovascular diseases in South Asia, including India, on the rise and ranging from 248.6 to 350.9 per 100,000-persons in 2021. Among all risks for cardiovascular diseases, high systolic blood pressure accounted for the largest proportion of disability-adjusted life years, while air pollution and dietary risks were the leading environmental and behavioral risks, respectively.

These challenges led the ACC to convene a roundtable earlier this year made up of leading cardiovascular clinicians from the ACC and the ACC India Chapter, as well as stakeholders from local nonprofits, government agencies and industry related to cardiovascular disease in India. The goal: to identify potential collaborative solutions to some of the specific cardiovascular challenges in India, ranging from patient access to prevention and screening services and chronic disease management.

“There is an urgency to manage the burden of cardiovascular disease in India,” says ACC President B. Hadley Wilson, MD, FACC. “We need to realize the urgency of this public health crisis and develop a roadmap that will allow us to manage the multiple challenges effectively.”

Roundtable participants highlighted the lack of awareness and education around cardiovascular disease and related risk factors as one of the biggest challenges facing the health care community when it comes to tackling these trends. Discussions centered around potential solutions involving increased accessed to screening and public health campaigns among others. Additionally, participants stressed that new innovations ranging from telemedicine to digital devices that allow for remote monitoring and screening are potential game-changers for managing cardiovascular disease and improving heart health throughout the country. Read the full report.

Clinical Topics: Cardiovascular Care Team

Keywords: Noncommunicable Diseases, ACC International

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