Poverty and cardiovascular diseases in Sub-Saharan Africa

Mwita, Julius Chacha and Godman, Brian; (2021) Poverty and cardiovascular diseases in Sub-Saharan Africa. In: Lifestyle and Epidemiology. INTECHopen, London.

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    Abstract

    There is a rise in cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Even though SSA is home to 14% world's inhabitants, it is home to more than half of the global poor. The objective of this chapter is to evaluate the interconnection between CVD and poverty in SSA. We found that the relationship between poverty and CVD is bidirectional. The intersection between poverty and CVD cuts through primordial, primary prevention and secondary prevention interventions. In the context of poverty in SSA, CVD prevention is a challenge due to competing demands to address the never conquered infectious diseases exacerbated by the current COVID-19 pandemic. With a weak healthcare system and out of pocket payment for the costs of CVD care, a significant proportion of individuals with CVD and their households are consequently impoverished. Besides, CVD affects a younger and productive population in SSA than in the rest of the world. Thus, CVD-related loss of productivity progressively pushes an additional number of individuals into poverty, requiring urgent attention.