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Cardiovascular diseases rise during Greek financial crisis
Date:5/17/2014

Athens, 18 May 2014: Hospital admissions for cardiovascular diseases increased during the Greek financial crisis, according to two studies from Athens. The research was presented today at the Heart Failure Congress 2014, held 17-20 May in Athens, Greece. The Congress is the main annual meeting of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology.

Dr Alexios Samentzas said: "Greece plunged into an economic crisis in 2008 and since then there have been rises in unemployment, wage reductions and a fall in standard of living. Previous studies have shown that cardiovascular disease is more frequent during crises such as wars and natural disasters."

Dr Dimitra Papadimitriou said: "We noticed an increased incidence of atrial fibrillation (AF) and heart attack in younger patients in the emergency room during the Greek financial crisis. Therefore, we decided to investigate whether there had been a real increase in cardiovascular diseases during the crisis."

The researchers retrospectively analysed all admissions to the cardiology department of Elpis General Hospital in Athens during two time periods. The first time period, 2003 to 2007, was defined as the pre-crisis period, while 2008 to 2012 was the crisis period.

Dr Samentzas said: "We chose 2008 as the start of the crisis because gross national product (GNP) markedly reduced that year. GNP is still at a lower level than it was prior to 2008 and unemployment has steadily gone up."

The researchers recorded admissions for heart attacks (also referred to as acute myocardial infarction) and AF, the commonest heart rhythm disorder. They examined the results in younger patients and those without social insurance, and looked to see if there were differences between men and women.

The cardiology department received 3 420 admissions during the pre-crisis period and 3 860 during the crisis period. During the crisis period the number of admissions for hea
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Contact: ESC Press Office
press@escardio.org
33-622-834-576
European Society of Cardiology
Source:Eurekalert

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