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Mortality Rates Due To Heart Diseases Is High In Rural Areas Too

Breaking a myth that cardiovascular diseases are an urban lifestyle phenomenon, a three-year-long study in 45 villages of Andhra Pradesh has revealed that heart-related problems// are the largest killer in rural areas too.

The study by five leading institutes led by the Byrraju Foundation, an NGO, has found ample evidence to prove that cardiovascular diseases remain the biggest killer in villages too.

The Centre for Chronic Disease Control (CCDC), the CARE Foundation in India, the George Institute for International Health and the University of Queensland in Australia also participated in the study.

The Andhra Pradesh Rural Health Initiative (APRHI) launched by the five in 2003 has proved that "cardiovascular diseases are responsible for an unexpectedly large proportion of all deaths.

Contrary to widely held beliefs, communicable diseases such as malaria and childhood infections were responsible for relatively few deaths," the joint study states.

The report is based on a pilot study of 180,162 people in 45 villages in Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. The APRHI has worked to define the main health problems in the study region and to develop novel ways of dealing with them.

"The high mortality due to cardiovascular problems in rural Andhra Pradesh was found to be a result of a combination of life-style problems including smoking, wrong diet consisting of high salt, high oil and high sugar intake along with low-fibre diet including fruits and vegetables," Rohina Joshi, research fellow with George Institute for International Health, told IANS.

"This has led to setting up of an intervention programme for trying to identify the problem, particularly life-style identification and prescription by physician to see how recurrence of a second heart attack," said Joshi, who is doing research on mortality surveillance system.

During the yearlong intervention programme, the effort of the group would
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