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Asian Heart Failure Rate Catching Up With West

Hong Kong (dpa) - Heart failure rates in Asia are rocketing and will catch up with those in the West within 15 to 20 years, it was reported Friday.

      Professor John Sanderson, head of cardiology at Hong Kong''s Chinese University, said unhealthy lifestyles and changing diets were narrowing the gap between Asia and the West for heart disease.

      He said the misplaced belief that Asians did not need to guard against heart disease was contributing to the problem, the South China Morning Post reports.

      Professor Sanderson, speaking at a forum on heart disease Thursday, said: "The Asian population is getting older. High blood pressure is very common in Asian communities and the Chinese community in particular.

      "Therefore it is inevitable that as people get older with the background of high blood pressure, heart failure is going to rise and get more common.

      "If we carry on in this way it will not be that long before we catch up with the heart failure rates in the West - maybe 15 to 20 years."

      He said a high fat diet, lack of exercise, smoking and obesity were growing problems in Asia that were contributing to the rise in heart disease rates.

      Recent surveys have shown that urban Asians, particularly in Hong Kong, are increasingly abandoning their traditional rice diets for a higher fat Western diet with a boom in fast food outlets such as McDonald''s.

      dpa

Copyright 2000 dpa Deutsche Press-Agentur GmbH




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