Researchers at Yale and at the National Center for Cardiovascular Disease in China just quantified a significant opportunity to improve Chinese heart health: 1 in 10 middle-aged Chinese adults are at high risk for heart disease, yet only about 3% of those at-risk are taking either statins or aspirin, the recommended therapies for managing that risk. This study was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
The study was derived from the jointly designed China PEACE Million Persons Project, which to date includes a sample of 1.7 million Chinese adults assessed for heart disease risk, and represents, when extrapolated to the entire population in China, tens of millions at high risk for heart disease in China. (Compare this to the United States, another large country with high rates of high risk for heart disease, where 25% and 44% of at-risk adults take statins and aspirin, respectively.) The researchers attribute this to a current lack of awareness of heart disease therapies amongst patients and providers in China, a country where heart disease accounts for 40% of all deaths.
"This remarkable and productive collaborative research effort spans China, including more than 2,000 clinics, and reveals marked opportunities to reduce cardiovascular risk in a country in the midst of marked growth in the ailments that accompany economic growth," said Dr. Harlan Krumholz, senior author, cardiologist, and director of the Yale Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CORE). "The challenge ahead is to ensure a focus on healthy lifestyles and access to inexpensive and highly effective medications for those who would benefit."