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Latin America must cut blood pressure to thrive
Date:6/25/2009

Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore and Washington DC (26 June, 2009) Combating high blood pressure is a global challenge. But while developed countries have enjoyed reductions in cardiovascular disease over recent decades, Latin America has been less fortunate. In fact new research published in the journal Therapeutic Advances in Cardiovascular Disease shows that high blood pressure is on the increase in many Latin American countries, a situation set to worsen unless immediate action is taken.

Adolfo Rubinstein from Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires, Luis Alcocer from Universidad Nacional Autnoma de Mxico and Hospital General de Mxico, and Antonio Chagas from University of So Paulo Medical School Heart Institute have detailed the evidence in their article High blood pressure in Latin America: a call to action, and offer specific recommendations to remedy the situation.

Despite major healthcare problems in terms of equity and efficiency in the majority of Latin American countries, the overall health indicators of Latin America's population have been on an upward trend over the last 50 years, a trend that continues today.

Yet as life expectancy increases the most common health issues are shifting from dealing with acute disease to more expensive and complex chronic diseases. The chronic disease scenario is already common in developed countries, evidenced by the fact that cardiovascular disease makes up 11% of the global disease burden, leading to some 17.7 million deaths each year. Rapidly developing nations, like many in Latin America, still have a relatively high burden of infectious and communicable disease. The added increase in cardiovascular disease means these countries shoulder a 'double burden' of disease. In fact experts have noted that middle- and low-income regions have a five-fold greater disease burden, but have access to less than one tenth of global treatment resources.

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Contact: Mithu Mukherjee
mithu.mukherjee@sagepub.co.uk
44-207-324-2223
SAGE Publications UK
Source:Eurekalert

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