"We found that more than ten percent of Eastern Europeans and nine percent of Middle Easterners had died or suffered from a stroke or heart attack," said Duke University Medical Center cardiologist Magnus Ohman, M.D., who helped analyse an international registry of patients with proven or suspected cardiovascular disease. In the preliminary analysis data from more than 68,000 patients in 44 countries was analysed. By comparison, 7.3 percent of North Americans with similar conditions either died or suffered from a stroke or heart attack, he said.
Four percent of Eastern European patients, 3.58 percent of Middle Eastern patients and 3.37 percent of North American patients died from their disease, he said. "Based on the data collected to date, we can say that adverse health effects due to cardiovascular or cerebrovascular disease are no longer afflictions solely of the Western, industrialized world," Ohman said.
"We are now seeing these diseases, and the death and disability they cause, spread to a significant degree to other parts of the world," he said. "These data suggest that heart attack and stroke represent an urgent international issue and are more prevalent than previously appreciated. The findings also raise the issue of whether or not the spread of Western culture is detrimental to the overall health of the rest of the world."
The regional differences in health outcomes observed in the analysis are likely due to a combination of such factors as genetics, diet, culture and the overall quality of and access to health care systems in the various countries, Ohman said. He said future analyses of the patients enrolled in the study should provide more precise insights into which factors play what roles in determining health outcomes.
MEDICA.de; Source: Duke University Medical Center