Greece Tops Heart Disease Table



heart attacks

Greece in 2010 had the highest rate of cardiovascular problem of any developed country, according to the Atlas of Heart Disease and Stroke released by the World Health Organization (WHO)

The Atlas reveals heart attack and stroke episodes seem to have declined in developed countries while continuing to worsen in developing ones. This new map was drawn up by a major international scientific team and published in the magazine Global Heart. The main indicator used is the Diasability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs), a measure that combines both premature cardiovascular deaths and the severe consequences of non-fatal heart attacks and strokes. More specifically, the DALYs add the years lost due to both premature deaths and life with disabilities caused by various cardiovascular diseases.

The main findings of the Atlas are listed below:

Globally, among cardiovascular diseases, heart attacks have the largest contribution (5.2 percent of the lost DALYs), strokes come second (4.1 percent) followed by hypertensive heart disease, cardiomyopathy, rheumatic, heart disease, atrial fibrillation, aortic aneurism, peripheral vascular disease and endocarditis.

The global mortality of both heart attacks and strokes has proportionately been reduced  between 1990-2010. However, due to the increase and aging of the population, both the absolute number of cardiovascular deaths and the number of survivors with serious health problems have increased. Thus, 7.03 million heart attack deaths have been recorded worldwide in 2010 versus the 5.21 million deaths recorded in 1990 (35 percent increase).

Greece, among developed countries, shows a sad privilege of having the largest cardiovascular problem per capita (lost DALYs years per 100,000 residents), followed by Germany, Andorra and Finland while on the opposite side are Brunei and Israel. In 2010, Greece showed 6,455 DALYs per 100,000 residents. Second was Germany which had 5,618 DALYs years lost while Brunei had the fewest lost years, 2.322 DALYs.