Stroke and coronary artery disease (CAD) are major causes of death throughout the world. As half of the world's population lives in Asian countries, prevention of stroke and CAD in Asia is crucial. According to the vital statistics, East Asian countries have a lower mortality rate for CAD than for stroke. In contrast, CAD is a more common cause of death than stroke in other Asian countries and Western countries. Hypertension, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, and smoking are major risk factors for stroke and CAD in Asia as well as in Western countries. In an observational study in Japan, the stroke incidence decreased as a result of improvements in blood pressure control and reduction in the smoking rate over the past half century, whereas the CAD incidence did not show a clear secular change, probably because the benefits of blood pressure control and smoking cessation were negated by increasing prevalence of both glucose intolerance and hypercholesterolemia. Although Asian populations have lower serum cholesterol levels than Western populations, the prevalence of hypercholesterolemia has increased during the past half century in Asia. In addition, the smoking rate among Asian men is higher than for Western men. These results underscore that, in addition to blood pressure control, smoking cessation and the management of metabolic risk factors are very important for prevention of stroke and CAD in Asia.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine