Purpose of review: There is a global epidemic of coronary heart disease (CHD) caused by atherosclerosis. We discussed its emergence, underlying reasons, and implications for prevention and control strategies in Asia.
Recent findings: Most countries in Asia are experiencing the challenges from CHD, with the mortality rate varying from 103 to 366 per 100 000 adult populations, reported by recently published studies. Raised population cholesterol levels played a pivotal role. Men, older adults, and those with dyslipidemia, hypertension, and diabetes were high-risk individuals. During the past decade, there was a marked rising trend of atherosclerosis-related burden particularly in Eastern Asia where an alarming increase of 117.2 and 115.3% of total deaths and disability adjusted life-years, respectively, were observed. The rise of CHD could be attributed to unhealthy lifestyles, clinical-risk factors, psychosocial factors, and public health transitions. Ageing, urbanization, and increase in prosperity may serve as underlying key drivers.
Summary: The burden of CHD is substantial, whereas contributors are multifactorial. This grand challenge should be a top priority for injecting healthcare resources. The formulation of public health measures will need to adopt an integrated and life-course approach, based on the need and risks of different population subgroups in Asia.