Mortality rate from strokes highest in western Europe

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 21-01-2020 11:52:00 · 0 Comments

The mortality rate from strokes in Portugal is the highest of all western European countries, according to the latest Atlas of the European Society of Cardiology

According to the study presented in Lisbon by the Portuguese Society of Cardiology (SPC),"Portugal occupies only 25th position (in 51 countries) among women and 28th position among men, with higher mortality than those of all western European countries".

In terms of the impact of stroke on mortality, lost years of life adjusted for disability, years of life experienced with disability and lost years of life the results are "clearly unsatisfactory", the study finds, stating for example that mortality from this disease in Portugal "is twice that observed in France".

However, there are "excellent results" in terms of the impact of coronary disease on mortality and "good results" with regard to hypertensive heart disease, according to the analysis, which includes countries in Europe and North Africa, the Persian Gulf and the former Soviet Union.

Speaking to Lusa, the SPC’s president, Victor Gil, said that the data fit with national indicators that indicate that "Portugal is [doing] reasonably well" where ischaemic heart diseases go, but "less well" in strokes, where "there is a long way to go and a lot of work to do".

For Gil, the results obtained were "the result of the organisational capacity of Portuguese cardiologists and the response they have managed to give to the great challenges", which has been reflected "in an improvement of survival" rates.

"There has indeed been a very important improvement in myocardial infarction treatment and the system is set up and works", he noted, while adding that there are still parts of the country that need to improve, in particular in the transport of critically ill patients.

The study, which portrays cardiovascular health in Europe, indicates that Portugal, compared to the countries analysed, "seems to have a sufficient/excessive number of doctors, but a clearly deficient number of nurses."

According to the Atlas, the total number of cardiac surgeons and cardiologists "seems to be adequate, but there is a great imbalance between the subspecialties of cardiology, with an adequate average number of electro-physiologists, but a seemingly deficient number of intervention cardiologists."

According to the PCS president, these asymmetries are a reflection of the fact that there is "no planning in Portugal" in training for subspecialties.

Compared to other countries, Portugal has a high number of hospitals with CAT scanners and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance devices, although the technological generation of these devices is unclear.

It also has a "high number" of hospitals implanting permanent pacemakers, defibrillators, cardiac resynchronisation systems and electro-physiology procedures, in line with most countries in Western Europe .

However, it has a "clear deficit" of hospitals with cardiology beds, cardiac intensive care beds, intra and extra-hospital cardiac rehabilitation programs.

"Budgets that have been allocated to health have been at the lowest level and yet we have achieved good results, which means that if more resources are allocated probably we will be able to reach the leading pack in relation to all indicators," Gil stressed.


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