It should come as no surprise that heart disease is not an isolated issue. Far from it, in fact, heart disease is the number one cause of death across the globe. There are many factors that contribute to the number of people who die from this condition. Heart attacks and strokes are unique in that they are largely preventable, with proper diet and exercise. The treatments for these conditions are also exceptionally effective, with a survival rate of nearly 90% when medical attention is received fast enough.
The countries most affected by heart disease are, for the most part, low-income or middle income countries. The reason for this is fairly simple. Some of the factors that contribute to a predisposition for heart disease are genetic. There is nothing you can do to change your genes, which leaves environmental factors. In more developed countries, this means a focus on diet and nutrients. Making sure the foods you are eating are heart healthy is one of the best things you can do to reduce your risk of heart attacks. In low income countries, however, healthy food is generally not readily accessible. In some countries, people struggle to keep themselves fed at all; they certainly do not have the luxury of selectively eating foods rich in nutrients and vitamins.
Another reason low income countries are more affected by heart disease is the lack of medical care. When someone suffers a heart attack, the first thing they are told to do is to seek medical care. Life-saving treatment can be administered in the ambulance, thus containing the amount of damage done to the heart. Even failing immediate treatment, patients are given any number of treatments in the hospital that have excellent success rates. Low income countries, however, do not have access to this level of medical care. Of those that do have access to some kind of health professional often lack access to the life-saving medications necessary in the treatment of a heart attack.
With all of these clear advantages, it stands to reason that the United States should have much better numbers concerning heart disease and death. While America certainly fares better than many of the less developed countries on the list, we are not doing well when compared to other developed countries such as Italy and Japan.
With heart disease responsible for so many people world-wide, there is more reason than ever before for a push to educate people on methods for prevention of to heart disease. There is no one in the world immune from a heart attack, but there are certainly those who are much less at risk than others. Education on heart health and tips for wellness could go far in reducing the number of deaths caused by heart disease each year.