Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) remain the number one cause of death globally: more people die annually from CVDs than from any other cause.
“According to World Health Organisation’s (WHO) projections, the total annual number of deaths from non-communicable diseases (CVD is one of them) will increase to 55 million by 2030 if “business as usual” continues”.
Prevention is better than cure
In the Global Non-communicable diseases Action Plan 2013-2020, WHO provides recommendations and guidelines for national or regional prevention frameworks. One of the strategic actions includes strengthening all components of the health system for screening, early detection, diagnosis, treatment, self-care and palliative care. The plan emphasis on primary health care and access to essential medicines and basic technologies.
According to American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) and European Society of Cardiology (ESC) guidelines on the prevention of CVD there is a need for total CVD risk assessment. In order to put a need into an action, both guidelines recommend Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) as the first step to persuading the goal to lower the number of deaths caused by CVDs.
Screening for PAD should be available in every primary care practice and ABI measurement should be performed on everyone above 50 years old with cardiovascular risk factors (smoking, diabetic, hypertensive, overweight and with high cholesterol) and to whole population over 70.
With these recommendations, organizations put a challenge to the whole medical industry, to provide reliable, easy to use and assessable devices to primary care practices.