In rural India, Aspirin could protect millions from heart disease

April 20th, 2009 - 3:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, April 20 (IANS) A low-cost option like Aspirin can potentially save millions of people living in rural India, according to a study.
The study was undertaken in southern India where cardiovascular disease claims a third of lives, with limited use of low-cost therapies to prevent them.

Rohina Joshi from The George Institute for International Health in Sydney, Australia, said: “the key finding from this new analysis is that while many treatments for the prevention of cardiovascular disease are low-cost and effective, the uptake of these drugs has been limited in this rural area of India.”

Preventive therapies like Aspirin are known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events, particularly among patients who have already experienced a heart attack or stroke.

However, there are considerable treatment gaps in developing countries, where the use of such drugs could make a significant impact on the rising death rate.

More than half of all such deaths occurred in patients under 70 years, which directly impacts a large number of main income-earners for families.

The study shows that 41 percent of all cardiovascular deaths in rural areas in India occurred under 65 years, compared to only 17 percent for the same age group in the US.

“As many deaths occur in a much younger age group compared with developed countries, cardiovascular disease is having a significant economic and social consequence among families, especially in rural India, she said, according to a George Institute release.

This study was completed as part of the Andhra Pradesh Rural Health Initiative (APRHI), which is a collaboration between The George Institute and The University of Queensland in Australia, the Byrraju Foundation, the Centre for Chronic Disease Control (CCDC) and the CARE Foundation in India.

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