Prevention and Control of Cardiovascular Disease in the Rapidly Changing Economy of China

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Abstract

With one-fifth of the world’s total population, China’s prevention and control of cardiovascular disease (CVD) may affect the success of worldwide efforts to achieve sustainable CVD reduction. Understanding China’s current cardiovascular epidemic requires awareness of the economic development in the past decades. The rapid economic transformations (industrialization, marketization, urbanization, globalization, and informationalization) contributed to the aging demography, unhealthy lifestyles, and environmental changes. The latter have predisposed to increasing cardiovascular risk factors and the CVD pandemic. Rising CVD rates have had a major economic impact, which has challenged the healthcare system and the whole society. With recognition of the importance of health, initial political steps and national actions have been taken to address the CVD epidemic. Looking to the future, we recommend that 4 priorities should be taken: pursue multisectorial government and nongovernment strategies targeting the underlying causes of CVD (the whole-of-government and whole-of-society policy); give priority to prevention; reform the healthcare system to fit the nature of noncommunicable diseases; and conduct research for evidence-based, low-cost, simple, sustainable, and scalable interventions. By pursuing the 4 priorities, the pandemic of CVD and other major noncommunicable diseases in China will be reversed and the global sustainable development goal achieved.

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