HEART AND BRAIN VASCULAR DISEASES ARE THE LEADING CAUSE
OF BULGARIAN DEMOGRAPHIC TRAGEDY
An appeal to Bulgarian politicians
On behalf of the Bulgarian Society for Cell Biology (BGSCB)
George N. Chaldakov, BHF, MD, PhD, FIACS
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Medical University, Varna, Bulgaria
In May 2012, world political leaders committed to reducing global mortality from non-communicable diseases (NCD) by 25% by 2025. Heart and brain vascular diseases [cardiometabolic diseases (CMD) – atherosclerosis, hypertension, obesity, type 2 diabetes, type 3 diabetes (Alzheimer’s disease), and metabolic syndrome] are accountable for nearly half of all NCD deaths making them the world’s number one killer of humans.
The World Hearts
Created by the World Heart Federation, World Heart Day (WHD) informs people around the globe that CMD are the world’s leading cause of death claiming 17.9 million lives each year. World Heart Day aims to drive actions to educate people as well as politicians that by controlling risk factors (Fig. 1), at least 80% of premature deaths from heart disease and stroke could be avoided.
Figure 1. Practice these to make heart and brain health. And save billion money for the improvement of human health and education (see Fig. 2).
Figure 2. US Dollars (bn – billion) spent in 2014 for the therapy and other healthcare of non-communicable diseases, including cardiovascular disease. From: Website of the World Obesity Federation.
Traditionally, the celebration of WHD is on 29 September every year.
This year the major message states: “It is a part of our mission to ensure heart health equity for all, we want to create a global community of Heart Heroes … people from all walks of life who are acting now to live longer, better, heart-healthy lives by making a promise (i) to our families to cook and eat more healthily, (ii) to our children to exercise more and help them to be more active, to say no to smoking and help our loved ones to stop, (iii) as a healthcare professional to help patients give up smoking and lower their cholesterol and body weight, (iv) as a policymaker to support policies that promote healthy hearts, and (v) as an employee to invest in heart-healthy workplaces. For MY HEART, for YOUR HEART, for ALL OUR HEARTS.”
The Bulgarian Hearts
According to World Health Organization (WHO) data, we, Bulgarians, are among the world’s leading countries in mortality from heart and brain vascular diseases, namely, myocardial infarctions and strokes. According to Eurostat, Bulgaria is at first place in mortality among the countries in the European Union in 2016, as illustrated in the following Figure.
According to data from the Bulgarian National Statistical Institute, 108 526 Bulgarians – a big Bulgarian city – have died from these and other diseases in 2018. Of these, 70 546 died from strokes and myocardial infarctions, and 17 462 from malignant tumors. In the same year, only 62 197 children were born. The drop in the population is 46 329 per year in a country with about 7 million population. By dividing 108 526 to 365, there are 297 – the saddest arithmetic in Europe, so many people die every day in Bulgaria! And only 170 children are born daily. Hence, in Bulgaria the song of the goat – tragedy (Greek, tragoudia; tragos – goat, aedin – sing) is continuing.
Bulgarian politicians, we have appealed many times (1-4), and now repeat, that this is a truly urgent matter, which requires the development of an effective, long termed, science-based predictive and preventive medical and social strategy to overcome the demographic tragedy. Otherwise, it would be Bulgaria without Bulgarians, the saddest folk song.
Bulgarian politicians, act now to tackle the pressure of risk factors for our hearts and brains. That will require a Herculean effort and support to overcome. Hercules needs to start work now! We do not have the luxury of delay, of waiting until after the next election, or of not improving the efficiency of prevention and therapy of heart and brain vascular diseases.
Bulgarian politicians, effective cardiopolitics and cardioeconomics are urgently required. Do dot neglect the fact that heart and brain vascular diseases are the number one killer of Bulgarians in the last 45 + 29 years. By introducing healthy life style for all the Bulgarians, we can reduce our risk of myocardial infarctions and strokes, as well as improving quality of life and length of life. Keep in mind-and-action the World Heart Federation’s message: “We and our members believe in a world where heart (and brain) health for everyone is a fundamental human right and a crucial element of global health justice.”
Because we believe every heartbeat matters – both scientific and romantic message of this year WHD.
1. Chaldakov GN, Aloe L, Tonchev AB, Rančić G, Hristova MG, Tunçel N, et al. Welcome to the 3rd ISAA, October 2012 in Burgas, Bulgaria! SOS for Homo sapiens obesus. A report of the 2nd International Symposium on Adipobiology and Adipopharmacology (ISAA), 23-25 October 2009, Varna, Bulgaria. Adipobiology 2010; 2:5-8.
2. Chaldakov GN. Healthy fat distribution-Healthy blood pressure: The Bulgarian message for the World Hypertension Day-2010. In: HealthEurope.org; May 2010.
3. Chaldakov GN. Bulgarian politicians do not care how high fat life threatens the presence and the future of the nation. (In Bulgarian). In: Weekly newspaper “168 hours”. Sofia, Bulgaria. 21-27 June 2018.
4. Hiriart M, Chaldakov GN. Save the obese man. Effective adipopolitics and adipoeconomics are urgently required. Echo of the Fifth International Symposium on Adipobiology and Adipopharmacology (ISAA), 1-4 May 2019, Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. Adipobiology 2019; 11:3-7 (In press).