Middle-income countries shoulder the bulk of morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Europe, according to a major report published this week in the European Heart Journal.
The paper draws on data from the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Atlas of Cardiology and details the burden of CVD in 56 ESC member countries, in addition to the infrastructure and human resources available for treatment, and the vast differences between states in access to modern diagnostics and therapies.
It shows that compared to high-income countries, middle-income countries have more premature deaths due to CVD, a greater proportion of potential years of life lost due to CVD and a higher age-standardised incidence and prevalence of coronary heart disease and stroke. However, despite this, the data show middle-income member countries remain severely under-resourced compared with high-income countries in terms of cardiological person-power and technological infrastructure.
The report identifies a 15-fold variation in cardiologists per million people across ESC member countries, with numbers ranging from 250 per million in Italy, Greece and the Republic of Georgia
Females accounted for just 28 per cent of all cardiologists.