Cardiovascular medicine and research in sub-Saharan Africa: challenges and opportunities

Article metrics

Africa is witnessing an epidemic of cardiovascular disease (CVD), with staggering morbidity and mortality. The spectrum of CVD includes hypertension, rheumatic heart disease, cardiomyopathy, atherosclerotic disease, congenital heart disease and tuberculous pericarditis. Opportunities exist to alter the trajectory of CVD epidemiology but require committed policy makers, functional health systems and an engaged citizenry.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1.

    Sliwa, K. & Ntusi, N. A. B. Battling cardiovascular diseases in a perfect storm. Circulation 139, 1658–1660 (2019).

  2. 2.

    Roth, G. A. et al. Demographic and epidemiologic drivers of global cardiovascular mortality. N. Engl. J. Med. 372, 1333–1341 (2015).

  3. 3.

    Mensah, G. A. et al. Mortality from cardiovascular diseases in sub-Saharan Africa, 1990–2013: a systematic analysis of data from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013. Cardiovasc. J. Afr. 26 (Suppl. 1), 6–10 (2015).

  4. 4.

    Keates, A. K. et al. Cardiovascular disease in Africa: epidemiological profile and challenges. Nat. Rev. Cardiol. 14, 273–293 (2017).

  5. 5.

    Ntusi, N. A. B. & Mayosi, B. M. Epidemiology of heart failure in sub-Saharan Africa. Expert Rev. Cardiovasc. Ther. 7, 169–180 (2009).

  6. 6.

    Campbell, N. R. et al. High blood pressure in sub-Saharan Africa: why prevention, detection, and control are urgent and important. J. Clin. Hypertens. 17, 663–667 (2015).

  7. 7.

    Watkins, D. A. et al. Rheumatic heart disease worldwide: JACC Scientific Expert Panel. J. Am. Coll. Cardiol. 72, 1397–1416 (2018).

  8. 8.

    Zühlke, L. et al. Clinical outcomes in 3343 children and adults with rheumatic heart disease from 14 low and middle income countries: 2-year follow-up of the Global Rheumatic Heart Disease Registry (the REMEDY study). Circulation 134, 1456–1466 (2016).

  9. 9.

    Mayosi, B. M. et al. Prednisolone and Mycobacterium indicus pranii in tuberculous pericarditis. N. Engl. J. Med. 371, 1121–1130 (2014).

  10. 10.

    Zilla, P. et al. Global unmet needs in cardiac surgery. Glob. Heart 13, 293–303 (2018).

Download references

Acknowledgements

P.N. is the president of the African Heart Network. M.N. and F.H. are the co-directors of AfricaPCR. D.J. is the president of the South African Heart Association (SA Heart). S.S. is the president of the Pan-African Society of Cardiology. R.D. is the chairman of the Scientific Programme Committee of SA Heart 2019. E.D. is the operations officer of SA Heart. N.A.B.N. is the director of the Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Congress of South Africa. N.A.B.N. gratefully acknowledges support from the National Research Foundation, Medical Research Council of South Africa and Lily & Ernst Hausmann Trust.

Author information

Correspondence to Ntobeko A. B. Ntusi.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark