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Medical News & Perspectives
June 2, 2004

Heart Disease a Global Health Threat

JAMA. 2004;291(21):2533. doi:10.1001/jama.291.21.2533

Billions of individuals are experiencing longer and healthier lives because of advances in medical technology and improving economic conditions in developing nations—but the cloud in this silver lining is that heart disease is on the rise.

In a report released on April 26, researchers call cardiovascular disease an urgent threat to global health and predict that by 2020, it will become the leading cause of death and disability worldwide. The report, A Race Against Time: The Challenge of Cardiovascular Disease in Developing Economies (http://www.earthinstitute.columbia.edu/news/2004/images/raceagainsttime_FINAL_0410404.pdf), was sponsored by the Australian Health Policy Institute at the University of Sydney, Columbia University in New York City, and the World Health Organization (WHO).

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