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Nurs Health Sci. 2007 Dec;9(4):290-4.

Tackling heart disease and poverty.

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  • 1Preventative Cardiology, Baker Heart Research Institute, Melbourne, Australia.


Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, with a projected increase in incidence in developed and developing countries. This paper will review the literature on the role of poverty and socioeconomic deprivation in cardiovascular disease and outline ways to tackle poverty. The literature acknowledges the individual risk factors for cardiovascular disease, but highlights the negative effects of neighborhood deprivation on the incidence of cardiovascular disease and its mortality rates. The studies show that equitable access to health care is not evident and those in less affluent neighborhoods have greater disease incidence and increased mortality and morbidity rates, particularly for angina, myocardial infarction, and heart failure. The approach to reducing disease rates needs to be conducted from an individual level to the societal level and needs to prevent and treat heart disease (particularly in deprived neighborhoods). Nurses and health professionals must drive health policy so that progress can be achieved in reducing the disease rates.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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