Published online Dec 31, 2009. doi: 10.4330/wjc.v1.i1.3
Revised: November 30, 2009
Accepted: December 7, 2009
Published online: December 31, 2009
This article reviews the current status of cardiovascular disease (CVD) on the international scale. Presently viewed as an epidemic that has migrated from westernized societies to developing countries, several important issues are elaborated upon. They include the basis for the increasing prevalence of CVD and the associated societal implications. The challenges related to lack of resources and infrastructure support may also impede successful implementation of proven strategies to reduce CVD. In addition to traditional risk factors such as cigarette smoking, hypertension, obesity, hyperlipidemia, diabetes mellitus and insulin resistance, many developing countries must also contend with other risk biomarkers. Included in this grouping are human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and other infectious/inflammatory processes as well as nutritional and vitamin deficiencies that make preventive measures more difficult to prioritize. Taken together, greater partnering between local governments, affiliated hospitals and international societies is needed to enhance and facilitate efforts aimed at optimizing standard of care measures in developing countries in order to reduce cardiovascular risk.