Macroeconomics and Cardiovascular Risk Factors: The Same View through a Different Lens?
The major risk factors for cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) have been known for at least half a century from both observational and clinical trial study designs1-6. Despite advances in many countries, progress in prevention has been slow from a global perspective. The INTERHEART study and many epidemiologic studies have shown that the vast majority of CVD can be explained by common risk factors, including hypercholesterolaemia, hypertension, diabetes and smoking7. The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study has led to a seismic shift in conceptualising the burden of diseases and risk factors across countries and regions, and showed that the "Western affluence" model may be flawed when considering CVDs in low-income settings, where a "dual burden" of communicable and non-communicable diseases exists8-9. Data exists at many levels in many forms and the message of growing burden of risk factors and resultant disease is undeniable. Researchers and clinicians alike strive for better data, better study designs and better analytic methods in order to improve our knowledge of causation and prevention of CVD, which will in turn, allow us to plan the most effective strategies. However, readers are forgiven for concluding that sufficient data already exists, and that it is time for action.
- Received March 4, 2013.
- Accepted March 5, 2013.