Article: article from journal or magazin.
Review (review): journal as complete as possible of one specific subject, written based on exhaustive analyses from published work.
Measures of health and disease in Africa: are current methods giving us useful information about trends in cardiovascular diseases?
Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases
Publication types: Journal Article Publication Status: ppublishDocument Type: Review
An enormous burst of interest in the public health burden from chronic disease in Africa has emerged as a consequence of efforts to estimate global population health. Detailed estimates are now published for Africa as a whole and each country on the continent. These data have formed the basis for warnings about sharp increases in cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the coming decades. In this essay we briefly examine the trajectory of social development on the continent and its consequences for the epidemiology of CVD and potential control strategies. Since full vital registration has only been implemented in segments of South Africa and the island nations of Seychelles and Mauritius - formally part of WHO-AFRO - mortality data are extremely limited. Numerous sample surveys have been conducted but they often lack standardization or objective measures of health status. Trend data are even less informative. However, using the best quality data available, age-standardized trends in CVD are downward, and in the case of stroke, sharply so. While acknowledging that the extremely limited available data cannot be used as the basis for inference to the continent, we raise the concern that general estimates based on imputation to fill in the missing mortality tables may be even more misleading. No immediate remedies to this problem can be identified, however bilateral collaborative efforts to strength local educational institutions and governmental agencies rank as the highest priority for near term development.
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