A Plausible Model for Managing Cardiovascular Diseases

Prof Gundu Rao talks to us about how WHO worked across Europe to work around the increased number of deaths due to Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD)s. Let’s see what he has to say.

One of the most important tasks facing the medical profession in Europe today is the control of cardiovascular diseases, which is very prevalent in most countries. In spite of the tremendous development of curative services for cardiovascular diseases, mortality (rate of death) and morbidity (rate of disease occurrence) have not been reduced in many countries. The knowledge accumulated by research in epidemiology and prevention shows the multifactorial origin of cardiovascular diseases.

As the major risk factors for these diseases have been identified, it has become apparent that the control and prevention of cardiovascular diseases needs a community approach: the involvement of an entire community in an intervention programme. The pioneer in this field was Finland, where the North Karelia Project, conducted by Professor Pekka Puska and his many collaborators, was launched in 1972. Two years later it generated an international intervention programme – the Comprehensive Cardiovascular Community Control Programme (CCCCP) – was initiated by WHO. Now, after more than ten years’ experience, the results of this Programme prove that population risk factor levels can be affected, and cardiovascular mortality can be decreased.

These comments have been made and approved by Prof Gundu Rao, Emeritus Professor, University of Minnesota, for publication.

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