Cardiovascular disease 'responsible for one-third of deaths worldwide'

Scientific Developments/Breakthroughs

Cardiovascular disease have been responsible for one-third of deaths worldwide over the last 25 years, according to a new study.

Carried out by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, the study indicated that there were more than 400 million individuals living with cardiovascular diseases in 2015, with these conditions causing nearly 18 million deaths worldwide.

“Cardiovascular diseases now account for one-third of deaths throughout the world and are posing a growing threat to global health, according to research.“

Nations with the greatest number of cardiovascular deaths, after accounting for population size, were largely to be found in eastern Europe, central Asia, the Middle East, South America, sub-Saharan Africa and Oceania, with many low and middle-income countries seeing rising death rates from this cause.

Additionally, the steep declines in cardiovascular mortality rates experienced by the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, and countries in western Europe over the last two decades were shown to have started to taper off and plateau.

The researchers said one reason for this is the current focus on treating advanced manifestations of cardiovascular disease rather than promoting healthier living at younger ages to prevent heart problems entirely.

Study co-author and IHME director Dr Christopher Murray said: "Governments, advocacy groups, clinicians and communities should look to this new evidence when developing programmes and policies that could reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease and save more lives."

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