PARIS, April 24: By 2010, India will carry 60 per cent of the world’s heart disease burden, nearly four times more than its share of the global population, according to a study.
Adding to the burden is a higher incidence of the types of heart disease resulting in serious illness and mortality, and the fact that these conditions strike at an earlier age, says the study.
Death rates are especially high among the country’s poorest residents, unable to get to hospital quickly in an emergency, or to afford routine treatments and surgery.
Ischaemic heart disease -- mainly heart attacks and coronary artery disease -- is the leading cause of mortality in the world, accounting for 7.1 million deaths in 2001.
More than 80 per cent of these were in developing countries.
Researchers have long known that south Asia has the highest level of acute coronary syndromes in the world, but little statistical data was available about treatment and health outcomes.
A team of researchers, led by Denis Xavier of St. John’s National Academy of Health Sciences in Bangalore, gathered data on nearly 21,000 coronary patients admitted to 89 hospitals across 50 cities across the country.
They found that of 20,468 patients given a definite diagnosis, 60 per cent showed evidence of a heart attack, compared with 40 per cent in developing countries.
With a average age of 60, these Indian patients were also younger by three to six years than their counterparts in richer nations.