1.3 There's a lot of it about: the global picture of cardiovascular diseases
1.3.1 Who is affected by cardiovascular diseases?
Cardiovascular diseases are the main cause of premature death (before the age of 75) in the UK, across Europe and the USA – indeed, across many parts of the world (Figures 3 and 4). One third of global deaths in 2002 were from cardiovascular diseases: 16.7 million people (World Health Organization (WHO) figures: Mackay and Mensah, 2004; see Figure 3). However, the burden is not shared equally between the developed and developing world, or even within European states, as you will see in the next section.
Activity 1: Interpreting coronary heart disease deaths from a world distribution map
Using Figure 5, find three countries with the highest numbers of deaths from coronary heart disease (more than 500 000) and then three countries with the lowest numbers (fewer than 1000; exclude the no data countries).
Look at your own country and decide whether it has a high or low occurrence of coronary heart disease.
Click here to view larger PDF version of Figure 5
You should be aware that the number of deaths from coronary heart disease in 2002 varied greatly between different countries. There are numerous reasons for these differences and you will start to learn about some of these in the following sections.