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Why Deaths From Heart Attack, Stroke Are Increasing by ArabaONE: 11:27am On Apr 07, 2015
As the global population rises over seven billion, a new
report has shown that the number of deaths from
hypertension, stroke, heart attacks and other circulatory
diseases is on the rise, climbing from 12.3 million deaths
to 17.3 million.
The report also showed that efforts to prevent and treat
cardiovascular diseases appear to be working as the rise
in deaths is slower than the overall growth of the
This is coming on the heels of a recent survey that shows
that hypertension rates in Nigeria jumped from 11 per
cent in 1997 to 40 per cent in 2013.
5 millon deaths in 13 years
Globally, the number of deaths due to cardiovascular
diseases increased by 41 percent between 1990 and
2013, climbing from 12.3 million deaths to 17.3 million
deaths. Over the same period, death rates within specific
age groups dropped by 39 percent, according to an
analysis of data from 188 countries. Death rates from
cardiovascular diseases were steady or fell in every region
of the world except western sub-Saharan Africa, where
the rates increased.
The study, published last week in The New England
Journal of Medicine, and the “Demographic and
Epidemiologic Drivers of Global Cardiovascular Mortality,”
was conducted by researchers led by the Institute for
Health Metrics and Evaluation, IHME, at the University of
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 percent. 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 many other
“This pattern is reversed to some 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 percent.
“Taken together as a region, the United States and
Canada were among a small number of places with no
detectable change in the number of deaths from
cardiovascular diseases, because aging and population
growth balanced out declines in age-specific death rates.
The same was true in southern Latin America, including
Argentina and Chile, as well as Australia and New
“Two regions– central Europe and western Europe–have
managed to do what their global peers have not by
significantly reducing not only the death rates but also
the total number of deaths from cardiovascular diseases,
which fell by 5.2 percent and 12.8 percent, respectively,
between 1990 and 2013. When looking at cardiovascular
death rates, the high-income Asia Pacific region, which
includes Japan, achieved the greatest decline globally.
A persistent global threat: In the views of Assistant
Professor at IHME from the Division of Cardiology at the
University of Washington, Dr. Gregory Roth
“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.”
Researchers found that population aging contributed to
an estimated 55 percent increase in cardiovascular
disease deaths globally, and population growth
contributed to a 25 percent increase. These demographic
factors are not the only drivers behind the trend of
increasing deaths and falling death rates. Changes in the
epidemiology of cardiovascular diseases are another
Ischemic heart disease is both the leading cause of death
worldwide and accounts for almost half of the increase in
the number of cardiovascular deaths, despite a 34 percent
decrease in age-specific death rates. Several other types
of cardiovascular causes of death followed the same
pattern, including aortic aneurysm, hypertensive heart
diseases, and endocarditis, among others.
Two conditions that were exceptions to this pattern are
atrial fibrillation and peripheral vascular disease, for which
deaths have jumped significantly since 1990, due to both
higher death rates within specific age groups as well as
general aging and population growth.
Only rheumatic heart disease, which had a death rate
decrease of more than 100 percent, had a lower number
of total deaths in 2013 than in 1990; deaths fell by an
estimated 27 percent over the 23-year period of the
Researchers also examined whether wealthier countries
fared better than lower-income countries when it comes
to cardiovascular deaths and found there was not a
strong correlation between income per capita and lower
age-specific death rates. The dramatic improvement in
the death rates seen in some regions was attributed to
prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases, in
part by reducing risk factors including smoking. Primary
care management of other risk factors for cardiovascular
diseases, such as elevated blood pressure and blood
sugar, are also important.
IHME Director, Dr. Christopher Murray however said:
“Addressing the range of factors that contribute to
cardiovascular disease will help ensure that fewer people
around the world die from it prematurely. Investments
and policies aimed at targeting preventable risk factors
can reduce the impact of cardiovascular disease.”
Jump in rates: Research shows that hypertension rates
jumped from 11 per cent in 1997 to 40 per cent in 2013. A
World Cardiology study conducted in Oyo, Katsina, Kwara
and Enugu states, shows that estimates that the
prevalence of people living with hypertension is about 27
per cent in Katsina, 36.6 per cent in Ilorin, 20.8 per cent in
Ibadan rural, 46.6 per cent in Enugu rural.
Speaking on the issue, Emeritus Professor of Medicine at
the University of Ibadan, Oyo State, Oladipo Akinkugbe,
noted that unmanaged and undetected hypertension or
high blood pressure was the major reason why more
Nigerians were suffering and dying of stroke, heart
disease and chronic kidney failure.
“The lifestyle and diet of the average Nigerian has
changed. We eat more processed foods than ever, yet we
are the ones suffering from the diseases they cause
because of our genes,” Akinkugbe lamented.
High blood pressure
In the views of Associate Professor of Medicine, College of
Medicine, University of Lagos, Dr. Amam Mbakwem,
Nigerians suffer from the effects of high blood pressure
due to ignorance.
Ignorance: Mbakwem, a cardiologist, argued that more
than 60 per cent of Nigerians, who are hypertensive, do
not know they have high blood pressure. Her words:
“Many Nigerians with heart diseases do not know that
they have high blood pressure till their hearts start failing.
They wait for symptoms before they go for check up,
which is deadly. If you have high blood pressure and you
don’t know, by the time you are feeling dizzy or weak or
breathless in the morning, some organs, such as the
kidney and the liver, may have been damaged.
“We are not just worried that the number of hypertensive
patients is going up. We are more worried that Nigerians
do not know how to manage it. The statistics has been
going up in the last 15 years, yet there is no special plan
to check it. High blood pressure is fatal to the heart,
kidney and brain when left unmanaged.” Recent surveys
show that heart and cardiovascular diseases are the
leading causes of death in the world. Findings show that
death rates are higher generally in developing countries,
including Nigeria due to the late detection of cases and
other risk factors such as high cholesterol, high blood
pressure and smoking; diabetes, obesity and sedentary

By Sola Ogundipe, Chioma Obinna & Gabriel Olawale
Re: Why Deaths From Heart Attack, Stroke Are Increasing by lufizzkids(f): 6:47pm On Apr 07, 2015
Kudos to the writers.
Lately science and research has shown that high cholesterol is the number 1 culprit.It is even a known cause of type 2 diabetis
Very many people dont know this but i will keep spreading the word.We need to eliminate oil from our diet.When cooking stew or soup there is no need to use oil.There is a proven method of cooking without oil

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