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Future Cardiol. 2012 Jan;8(1):29-38. doi: 10.2217/fca.11.80.

Strategies for the improvement of cardiac care services in developing countries: what does the future hold?

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Department of Cardiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi 110029, India.


Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in developing countries. The atherosclerotic or degenerative diseases are not only on the rise, they are occurring at a younger age compared with those in developed nations. Some of these developing countries continue to have a high prevalence of rheumatic heart disease, with a large number of new cases with acute rheumatic fever. It appears that the prevalence of congenital heart disease has remained the same in both developing and developed countries, although the actual data are missing. Most of the developing countries have an increasing population due to high birth rate thereby the burden of all types of cardiovascular disease is increasing. Unfortunately, a majority of the patients with cardiovascular disease do not get appropriate and timely care. The health system in most of these countries is very heterogeneous and hospital based, often catering only to the urban population. Although private healthcare is available in some regions, it is unaffordable for the majority. The current situation needs urgent action for control of the impending cardiovascular disease epidemic and for improving the care of the affected population. The first aspect for improvement is generation of relevant data regarding the actual burden, risk factors, morbidity and mortality. Other strategies include policy interventions for the control of risk factors in the community, raising public awareness about the various cardiovascular diseases and building research capacity. The resources are not only limited, but are improperly utilized.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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