Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the single largest cause of death in the developed countries and is one of the leading causes of disease burden in developing countries. In 2001, there were 7.3 million deaths due to CHD worldwide. Three-fourths of global deaths due to CHD occurred in the low- and middle-income countries. The rapid rise in CHD burden in most of the low- and middle-income countries is due to socio-economic changes, increase in lifespan, and acquisition of lifestyle-related risk factors. The CHD death rate, however, varies dramatically across the developing countries. The varying incidence, prevalence, and mortality rates reflect the different levels of risk factors, other competing causes of death, availability of resources to combat cardiovascular disease, and the stage of epidemiologic transition that each country or region finds itself. The economic burden of CHD is equally large but solutions exist to manage this growing burden.
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