Research efforts, data collection vital to improved treatment
The prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors like hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes have been decreasing in the United States and Europe, however they appear to be on the rise in Asia, particularly Japan, according to a guest editor page published July 6 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Using data from epidemiological studies and examining a health program launched by the Japanese government, guest editor Masafumi Kitakaze, M.D., Ph.D., found many risk factors in the Japanese population remain unchanged or even worsened over more than a decade. In Japan and China, there is an increasing incidence of hypertension and is completely different than the United States - where rates of hypertension did not change.
There has been an overall decline in coronary artery disease-related mortality in the United States; this decline has been attributed to reductions in risk factors and the promotion of treatments. However, cardiovascular disease deaths in Japan have increased and the prevalence of risk factors is expected to increase as the Japanese population continues to age.
Data collection on patients, not only in Japan but in Asia and around the world, is key to understanding the status of cardiovascular disease and determining the future direction of care. By combining data collection with clinical trials, the cardiovascular community can continue to develop new treatments and improve outcomes for patients.
"Focusing attention and research efforts on these types of epidemiological considerations for varied cardiovascular disease states will help us better understand how to improve treatment for our patients across the globe," said Valentin Fuster, M.D., Ph.D., Editor in Chief of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.