Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the world. As a percentage of all death in each region of the world, Eastern Europe and Central Asia which includes Russia has the highest percentage comprising of 55.7% of all deaths. In high income countries such as United States, Western Europe, Canada, Australia and Japan, 37% of all deaths are attributable to heart disease and stroke but occur at later age. The proportion of heart disease death to stroke death in High income countries is 3:1 but the proportion of stroke to heart disease is higher in Japan where stroke is much more common that heart attacks, but Japanese men and women have the highest life expectancy in the world. Women live an average of 87 years and men live 80 years. The reason is attributed to genetic factors but also a diet based on fish and plants and low in cholesterol.
Per capita health expenditure is highest in United States at $9000 and lowest in Pakistan at $22.
South Asia which includes India with a quarter of world’s population has about 2 billion people has very high incidence of cardiovascular disease which occurs 5 to 10 years earlier than United States and average lifespan is 65 years.
The leading causes of cardiovascular disease in the world are high blood pressure and cholesterol followed by smoking, a sedentary lifestyle and obesity. The message is clear. Check your blood pressure and control it with diet, exercise and medications as necessary. Be aware of your cholesterol levels. Modify your lifestyle to improve your levels but don’t resist the advice of your doctor to start medications to control it. Don’t smoke and stay active.