Cardiovascular disease in the Eastern Mediterranean region: epidemiology and risk factor burden
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The Eastern Mediterranean region (EMR) comprises 22 countries or territories spanning from Morocco in the west to Pakistan in the east, and contains a population of almost 600 million people. Like many other developing regions, the burden of disease in the EMR has shifted in the past 30 years from primarily communicable diseases to noncommunicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease (CVD). Cardiovascular mortality in the EMR, mostly attributable to ischaemic heart disease, is expected to increase more dramatically in the next decade than in any other region except Africa. The most prominent CVD risk factors in this region include tobacco consumption, physical inactivity, depression, obesity, hypertension, and diabetes mellitus. Many individuals living in the EMR are unaware of their risk factor status, and even if treated, these risk factors are often poorly controlled. Furthermore, infrequent use of emergency medical services, delays in access to care, and lack of access to cardiac catheterization affects the timely diagnosis of CVD. Treatment of CVD is also suboptimal in this region, consisting primarily of thrombolysis, with insufficient provision of timely revascularization. In this Review, we summarize what is known about CVD burden, risk factors, and treatment strategies for individuals living in the EMR. This information will hopefully aid decision-makers when devising strategies on how to improve CVD prevention and management in this region.
- Public Health [32 items ]