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Heart disease and stroke hit younger in developing countries, new report shows

A new report to be released at Columbia University's Earth Institute on April 26, 2004, suggests that heart disease and stroke are far more urgent threats to global health than commonly appreciated. They are causing hundreds of thousands of deaths each year in young people of productive age. This is far greater than has previously been understood, disrupting families and the work force in developing countries. While cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are often portrayed in the West as diseases of affluent and older people, CVD mortality rates among working age people in India, South Africa, and Brazil are one-and-a-half to two times that of the U.S.

Why is the rate of cardiovascular diseases higher in rapidly developing countries? Says co-author and visiting professor Stephen Leeder of the Center for Global Health and Economic Development, a joint initiative of The Earth Institute at Columbia and the Mailman School of Public Health, "Not only is treatment often unavailable, but lifestyle programs that have made a big impact in the U.S. over the last 40 years, such as diet and exercise awareness and anti-smoking campaigns or tobacco taxes, have not yet occurred" in most developing countries.

The report will be launched at Columbia University on April 26th

What: A Race Against Time: the challenge of cardiovascular disease in developing economies
When: Monday April 26, 2004, 10:00a.m.
Where: Schapiro Center, 4th Floor, Davis Auditorium, Columbia University (Enter Broadway at 116th Street)

Dr Susan Raymond, * another of the report's co-authors, said that she had been "surprised, even shocked, by what we found when we looked at the effects of CVD on the productive workforce aged 35-65 years in developing countries." In India, for instance, where 5 million people die of CVD each year, 28% of the deaths occurred among people aged less than 65."This rate of death among younger people exceeds even what we saw i
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Contact: Jennifer Freeman
jfreeman@ei.columbia.edu
917-496-8131
The Earth Institute at Columbia University
14-Apr-2004


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