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China facing public health crisis with projected increase in cardiovascular disease by 2030
Date:5/5/2010

in cardiac events. The risk factor trends alone may translate into 21.3 million more CVD events and 7.7 million related deaths between 2010 and 2030, researchers said.

Demographic changes, such as an aging population and fewer young people, will be the main driver of the CVD increase in China, a nation with approximately 1.3 billion. "We are seeing this as the start of a public health crisis that will only worsen in the next two decades," Dr. Moran said. Certain dietary factors, which this paper did not address, such as the high salt diet in Northern China, also have a bearing on cardiovascular disease rates, Dr. Moran added.

Reducing smoking to 20 percent of the male population by 2020 and 10 percent by 2030, or lowering average systolic blood pressure by four points in men and women, would significantly counteract adverse trends in other risk factors and prevent between 2.9 and 5.7 million deaths by 2030, according to the study. Aggressive anti-tobacco policies and preventive efforts aimed at controlling elevated blood pressure are two promising areas that need to be studied in more detail, Dr. Moran said.

"China is our biggest trading partner, so these results are important not only for other middle-income nations in transition, but also for the United States," Dr. Moran said.

Study co-author Dongfeng Gu, M.D., M.Sc., vice president of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in Beijing, China, said that the demographic changes stand to increase the burden of CVD as well as that of cancer and other non-communicable diseases and disabilities.

"In China, as in many parts of the world, the government has mainly focused on infectious diseases; however, China now has a 'double burden' of disease," Dr. Gu said. "If no massive preventive measures are taken, the burden of cardiovascular disease will inevitably continue to rise in China. The priority for prevention and control of cardiovascular diseases should be adequately add
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Contact: Alex Lyda
alyda@columbia.edu
212-305-0820
Columbia University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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