n South African Medical Journal - Cardiovascular medicine in primary healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa : minimum standards for practice (part 3) : guest editorial




Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide. Approximately 80% of all cardiovascular-related deaths occur in low- to middle income countries and at a younger age compared with high-income countries. The economic burden imposed by CVD on developing countries in terms of loss of productive years of life and amount of fiscal resources spent on secondary and tertiary care is considerably high. A sizeable proportion of the population-attributable risk for myocardial infarction is accounted for by nine modifiable risk factors, regardless of the geographical region. Heart failure is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and the spectrum of aetiology in this region is different from that in many high-income countries.


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