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Jos Journal of Medicine

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Cardiovascular disease: A Global Epidemic extending into Sub-Saharan Africa. A Review of Literature.

GA Amusa

Abstract


Background: Cardiovascular disease is a global epidemic; the prevalence is currently stable in the developed world but is on a rapid rise in the developing world particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is the commonest cause of morbidity and mortality globally. Its victims are older in the developed world but younger in Africa where it affects mainly the productive age group. The morbidity is more than its mortality such that majority its victims are rendered unproductive and burdensome. The burden of the disease has shifted to the developing world particularly Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2002 over 80% of CVD associated mortality occurred in the developing world, and a victim is many times more likely to die than in the developed world. Fortunately as there is no smoke without fire, cardiovascular disease is preceded by certain modifiable and nonmodifiable risk factors which can be identified and corrected before a full blown disease occurs.
Method: This is a detailed search of existing literature and on-line database on the subject. A narrative review of the selected literature was then done to provide concise and current information on the subject.
Conclusion: Cardiovascular disease is preventable. Governments at all levels must as a matter of urgency set up workable programmes to combat this scourge at the level of the risk factors. Interventions at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels must be implemented fully. Medical staffs must be trained at all levels to identify risk factors and treat them early.



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