Neglected CVD in Africa | JACC | Volume 55, Issue 7, pp. 680-687
“The epidemiology of cardiovascular diseases in Africa, reported mainly on hospitalized patients, may not represent the true pattern of heart disease in the continent but suggests a high burden of neglected conditions such as rheumatic valve disease, cardiomyopathies, and tuberculosis pericarditis.”
Several medical conditions that affect the cardiovascular system are restricted to or affect predominantly Africans. They can be considered neglected diseases because, despite affecting considerable numbers of people, they have not been the subject of systematic research or structured control programs and did not benefit from translation of knowledge obtained in other areas of human knowledge. Their epidemiology and natural history are often incompletely described, and the etiology and pathogenesis are unclear, leading to little or no improvement in medical care for patients, and absence of effective preventive measures for their control.
This article by Dr. Ana Olga Mocumbi and Dr. Maria Beatriz Ferreira investigates the epidemiological results of two large-scale community studies on the prevalence of rheumatic heart disease (RHD) and endomyocardial fibrosis (EMF) in Mozambique, as well as provides a summary of similar studies highlighting the burden of neglected heart conditions in sub-Saharan Africa.