Objective: The incidence of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) in developing countries has been on the increase in the last few decades. Demographic changes and adoption of negative life style associated with urbanization have been incriminated. This study is to ascertain the burden of cardiovascular disease in Uyo, a town which has been undergoing rapid urbanization in the last decade.
Subjects and methods: A five-year retrospective analysis of cardiovascular admissions into the Medical Wards of the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital between September 1996 and September 2001 was carried out. Medical records of patients were used. The Epi Info 2002 software was used to analyse data.
Results: Five hundred and fifty eight (19.8%) of the 2875 medical admissions were patients with cardiovascular diseases. Their mean age was 52 +/- 12.7 years and mean duration of hospital stay was 9 +/- 7 days. Hypertension accounted for 311 (55.7%) of the cases, of these 107 (34.4%) presented with cerebrovascular accident (CVA). 44.3% presented in Heart failure and causes included Hypertension (14.9%), Cardiomyopathies particularly the dilated type (15.1%), Rheumatic heart disease (6.6%) and Anaemia (7.7%). 69 (12.4%) cardiovascular deaths were recorded, of these 34 (6.1%) were in patients with Cerebrovascular accident. Most deaths occurred within seven (7) days of admission. Duration of stay significantly influenced outcome (p = 0.000).
Conclusion: Cardiovascular diseases constitute a significant health problem in our community. Intensive cardiovascular health education and promotion of healthy life style are advocated. Tertiary health care facilities should be equipped to cope with cardiovascular care in view of the looming epidemic of cardiovascular disease even in developing countries.