The economic burden of heart diseases

When a person is diagnosed with a heart disease the person starts to be tired of everything, it’s like getting older and having no feeling for anything. Hence, awareness about heart disease has got to be raised.

The World Heart Federation in conjunction with World Health Organization in 1999 announced the establishment of World Heart Day to be part of international campaign to spread awareness about cardiovascular diseases and stroke prevention.

The international campaign is usually celebrated on the 29th of September every year. Cardiovascular diseases, including stroke, are responsible for half of the total number of deaths recorded as a result of non-

Cardiovascular diseases kill an estimated 17.5 million people worldwide each year. The majority of these are due to heart attacks and stroke. Tobacco consumption remains the largest risk factor for cardiovascular diseases worldwide. It raises the risk of strokes as well.

Physical inactivity and unhealthy diet are other risk factors which increase individual’s risk to cardiovascular diseases. For the sake of learning, some of the cardiovascular diseases include coronary heart disease which is due to disease or narrowing of the blood vessels supplying the heart.

Others are cognitive heart disease, stroke or cerebrospinal accident, cognitive heart failure, rheumatic heart disease, deep venous thrombosis, peripheral arterial disease, tumours of the heart, blood vessels tumours cardiomyopathy and heart valve diseases.

Good eating habits, avoidance of tobacco and alcohol and good exercise for body fitness are important preventive measures that would contribute to the reduction of the 65 percent contribution of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) death worldwide. Another important factor that the experts must focus on is the availability of drugs and therapies for the populace.

It is of utmost importance for policy makers and the government to take a bold step in making sure that fake drugs are totally checked and eradicated from our community and also ensure a reduction of the selling prices of appropriate drugs used in treating heart disease.

Most people suffering from heart diseases can’t afford the high cost of treatment and management.  Hence, they resolve to alternative therapies including the use of plant herbs and uncertified chemicals ingredients, chemicals not certified by regulatory bodies.

The most dangerous issue is that alternative therapy is spreading within the neighbourhoods without any checkmate. Most of the herb concoction leads to dual burden diseases.  They tend to expose the body system to another disease such as eye problem, renal and liver damage etc. Dual burden of diseases is a challenging issue in the management of cardiovascular diseases as it affects the emotional and financial status of an individual. Most importantly, the chance of surviving becomes slim.

Most retired public servants from both public and private sector of the economy ought to have a health insurance package that would take care of their needs after leaving public or private services courtesy of their employers. It is disheartening to see people who have served dutifully with different enterprises suffering from these heart diseases without money for treatment and consultations.

In low and middle-income countries of the world including Nigeria where most families live below a dollar per day, it is very difficult for people in this category to effectively manage cases of heart attack and stroke. In fact, the bitter truth is that heart disease has rendered many homes bankrupt.

It is a known fact that as the population ages, the incidence of heart failure and its resulting mortality will continue to increase with increasing hospitalization cost due to fluctuation in the world’s economy. The economic burden of managing these patients may, therefore, become unmanageable.

Therefore there is a need to develop innovative solutions to keep this growing population out of the hospital and to improve the overall management of the patient since hospitalisation cost accounts for a major portion of expenses related to heart failure management.

Success in this endeavour will have a beneficial impact on our heart care system communicable diseases, making it the world number one killer. Most risk factors that lead to heart diseases include  High Blood Pressure, Cholesterol and glucose  level, Smoking, Improper diet, obesity etc



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