Trends in cardiovascular diseases and associated risks in sub-Saharan Africa: a review of the evidence for Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan and Tanzania
Background: Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) countries are facing an epidemiological shift from infectious disease to chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). CVDs incidence in SSA are frequently attributed to the prevalence of hypertension, diabetes, and overweight/obesity. Nevertheless, some researchers contend that CVDs are not a priority public health problem in SSA.
Method: This paper systematically reviews the evidence on CVDs and their relation with hypertension, diabetes mellitus and obesity/overweight in Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan and Tanzania. The publication’s content was analyzed qualitatively using the directed content analysis method and the results were presented in a tabular format.
Result: The paper illustrates the rising prevalence of CVDs as well as the three related risk conditions in the selected SSA countries.
Conclusion: The review indicates a poor health system response to the increasing risk of CVDs in SSA. The conditions and major drivers that contribute to this underlying increasing trend need to be further studied.