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Heart attack rates rise with plunging GDP in Greece's financial crisis
Date:3/7/2013

stress is connected with heart disease, but other issues also come with financial difficulties," Dr. Makaris said. "In these times a lot of people do not have money to buy medications or to go to their primary care doctor. There's a great increase in cardiovascular diseases across the country. The cost to the society is very high."

Researchers plan to continue to track heart health and the economy and also hope to expand their work to encompass all of Greece.

"Although Messinia has both urban and agricultural regions, we don't know what is going on in Athens," Dr. Makaris said. "The capital has almost 3 million people and is an urban industrialized area that may be more affected by the financial crisis."

The total GDP loss has been almost 25 percent since the crisis began, and the country remains in financial crisis, with a GDP in 2012 of minus 6 percent and an unemployment rate of 26.8 percent that is still growing.

"We need more support for doctors and patients, more people who can recognize warning signs of myocardial infarction earlier in hospitals," Dr. Makaris said. "In everything surrounding health carebiomedical supplies, personnel in hospitalsthere are shortages."

With these findings, researchers aim to educate health professionals and policymakers about the serious impact the financial crisis is having on heart health at a time when austerity measures are leading to reductions in medical staff, supplies and servicesand, ultimately, to increase the resources required to cope with escalating need by changing the country's health policy.


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Contact: Beth Casteel
bcasteel@acc.org
240-328-4549
American College of Cardiology
Source:Eurekalert

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