8 Long-term treatment, and living with cardiovascular diseases

8.5 How things change

Despite the advances made in cardiac care over the previous century, it is thought that the global epidemic of cardiovascular diseases is both increasing (see Table 5) and shifting from developed to developing countries (Mackay and Mensah, 2004). While treatments are available for some cardiovascular disease patients, prevention must remain a priority through the reduction of known risk factors. Whether or not people have already been diagnosed with cardiovascular diseases, taking account of the risk factors and minimising them where possible should result in positive changes and improved health in individuals and their families.

Table 5: Predictions of global cardiovascular disease deaths in the early twenty-first century

CVD/CHD deaths 2010 2020 2030
annual number of CVD deaths 18.1 million 20.5 million 24.2 million
CVD deaths as a percentage of all deaths 30.8% 31.5% 32.5%
CHD deaths as a percentage of all deaths of men 13.1% 14.3% 14.9%
CHD deaths as a percentage of all deaths of women 13.6% 13.0% 13.1%