Global Overview of the Epidemiology of Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease

Arch Med Res

Barquera S1, Pedroza-Tobías A2, Medina C2, Hernández-Barrera L2, Bibbins-Domingo K3, Lozano R2, Moran AE4.
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1Centro de Investigación en Nutrición y Salud, Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico. Electronic address: sbarquera@insp.mx.
2Centro de Investigación en Nutrición y Salud, Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico.
3Division of General Medicine, University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA.    4Division of General Medicine, Columbia University, Presbyterian Hospital, New York, New York, USA

Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ACD) is the leading cause of mortality worldwide. The objective of this paper is to provide an overview of the global burden of ACD and its risk factors and to discuss the main challenges and opportunities for prevention. Publicly available data from the Global Burden of Disease Study were analyzed for ischemic heart disease (IHD), ischemic stroke and ACD risk factors. Data from the WHO Global Health Observatory were used to describe prevalence of diverse cardiometabolic risk factors. World Bank Gross Domestic Product per capita (GDPc) information was used to categorize countries according to income level. Cardiovascular mortality decreased globally from 1990-2010 with important differences by GDPc; during 1990 there was a positive association between IHD mortality and GDPc. Higher-income countries had higher rates compared to those of lower-income countries. High levels of body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol have a differential contribution to mortality by income group over time; high-income countries have been able to reduce the contribution from these risk factors in the last 20 years, whereas lower/middle income countries show an increasing trend in mortality attributable to high BMI and glucose. Although age-adjusted ACD mortality rate trends decreased globally, the absolute number of ACD deaths is increasing in part due to the growth of the population and aging, as well as to important lifestyle and food-system changes that likely attenuate gains in prevention. Population and individual level preventable causes of ACD must be aggressively and efficiently targeted in countries of lower economic development in order to reduce the growing burden of disease due to ACD

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