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Event detail:

Essential Concepts in Cardiopulmonary Medicine: Hypertension, Heart Failure, Ischemic Heart Disease and Respiratory Illness

08/03/2024 - 09/03/2024
Cape Town (South Africa)
CTIIC 2 (CapeTown International Convention Centre), Corner of Heerenggracht and Rua Bartholomeu Dias, Foreshore, Cape Town, 8001, Sud Africa


Hypertension, heart failure, ischemic heart disease and respiratory illnesses pose huge health
challenges in Africa. These chronic conditions are major contributors to the rising burden
of non-communicable diseases on the continent. The epidemiological transition, coupled
with urbanization, pollution, aging populations and changes in lifestyle behaviors have precipitated
a sharp increase in the prevalence of these diseases across Africa over recent decades.
African women appear to be particularly vulnerable to the epidemiological transition.
Hypertension rates across Africa are among the highest in the world, with recent systematic
reviews estimating a 30-35% prevalence among adult populations in many countries. This
equates to over 130 million hypertensive cases continent-wide. Worryingly, levels of awareness,
treatment and control also remain very low. Heart failure prevalence has risen to 3-7%
in many settings. While ischemic heart disease has traditionally been less common in Africa
compared to higher income regions, age-standardized death rates attributable to ischemic
heart disease increased by over 50% in the region from 1990 to 2019 based on data from the
Global Burden of Disease study, reflecting changing patterns likely influenced by the rise in
hypertension, obesity and other risk factors.
Respiratory conditions also contribute substantially to morbidity and healthcare spending
across Africa. There were over 250 million new cases of pneumonia in adults and children in
2019, along with over 170,000 deaths. Asthma prevalence ranges from 5-20% across African
nations. COPD prevalence sits between 13-16% among adults in many countries as well, due
in large part to indoor and outdoor air pollution, tobacco use, and occupational exposures.
Progress has been made globally in reducing communicable respiratory diseases like tuberculosis
and HIV-related pneumonia due to expanded testing and treatment efforts. However,
more focus is still required on tackling non-communicable respiratory illness that commonly
lead to right heart failure and premature death.
As Africa contends with these epidemiological shifts, strengthening health systems to ensure
universal screening, early diagnosis, access to affordable medications and ongoing care will
be paramount. There are also major gaps and geographical disparities in terms of availability
of cardiac rehabilitation programs or critical care services that need addressing. Clear opportunities
exist to enhance community-based prevention efforts, self-management training,
frontline provider capacity and treatment optimization as well.
The meeting, supported by the Fondazione Menarini will discuss the wealth of global evidence
around interventions that can effectively reduce risk, limit hospitalisations, improve
quality of life and prevent premature mortality from heart disease, stroke, kidney disease
and lung disease and will provide a chance to catalyse key world opinion leaders, including
those from across the region, in assessing specific needs and bringing contextually-appropriate
solutions to scale that can curb the rising burden of these chronic illnesses in Africa.

Co-Presidents of the meeting
Giuseppe Rosano
Karen Sliwa-Hahnle
Brian Rayner
Periachille Santus


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