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Cardiovasc Diagn Ther. 2013 Dec;3(4):236-43. doi: 10.3978/j.issn.2223-3652.2013.12.05.

Profile of cardiac disease in Cameroon and impact on health care services.

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St. Elizabeth catholic general hospital, cardiac centre Shisong, Cameroon;
Pediatric Cardiology, Cardiac Surgery and GUCH unit, Policlinico San Donato IRCCS, Italy.



Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) have emerged as a major public health problem and impose an escalating burden on the health care system in Cameroon. The aim of the study was to investigate the preparedness of health care services for patients presenting with CVD in general and specifically, in St. Elizabeth catholic general hospital Shisong, cardiac centre.


Between November 2009 and November 2011, a population of 8,389 adults and 706 children consulted the referral cardiac centre of St. Elizabeth Catholic General Hospital. The patients' age ranges between 5 days and 103 years old, with a mean of 48.7±18 years. Female represented 54.2% of the total population.


Hypertension was diagnosed in 41.5% of patients. Isolated systolic hypertension was rarely found (4.2%) and 45.2% of patients were classified as class II according to the JNC7. Congestive heart failure was diagnosed in 29.6%. Forty-four percent of patients were in class III and 7% in class IV heart failure (NYHA). Arrhythmia was seen in 12.2% cases, with atrial fibrillation in 35.2%, followed by ventricular ectopic beats in 20.3%. Stable angina was diagnosed in 1.5%, and acute myocardial infarction 0.9%. In children, the prevalence of congenital heart disease was (4.3%). The disease the most detected was isolated ventricular septal defect, followed by tetralogy of Fallot. Post rheumatic valvulopathies were the main cause of heart failure in teenagers and young adults. Valve replacement with a mechanical valve was performed in 110 patients, valvuloplasty in eight patients, and surgical correction of congenital heart diseases in 105 cases.


Our data, collected in a rural area, shows the high prevalence of hypertension in rural sub-Saharan Africa. Congestive heart failure mainly due to post rheumatic valvulopathies is common amongst children and young adults.


Cardiovascular diseases (CVD); adults; children; rural area

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