Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

The Heart of Africa

Clinical Profile of an Evolving Burden of Heart Disease in Africa


While many high-income countries observe a relative decline in the population impact of heart disease and deal with the problem of an older patient population who readily survive earlier nonfatal encounters with the condition. Africa contends with a typically younger population with frequently advanced and often fatal heart disease. Similarly, while high-income countries exclusively deal with noncommunicable forms of heart disease. Africa contends with both communicable and noncommunicable forms of heart disease.  In clear contrast to regions such as Europe and North America, case complexity is often high and available resources from the individual to societal perspective (particularly primary health care services) are often suboptimal.

This book presents the most salient research detailing the evolving burden of communicable and noncommunicable forms of heart disease published within the past decade. It is designed to give anyone with an interest in heart disease in Africa an immediate sense of where we are, from a clinical to research perspective, in responding to this evolving epidemic.

The six sections in this book include maternal heart health, pediatric heart disease, risk and prevention, infectious heart disease, noncommunicable disease, and heart failure and cardiomyopathies.

  • Considers the progress of cardiac health care in Africa, summarising and interpreting recent studies and the lessons that can be drawn from their outcomes;
  • Includes recommendations drawn from study results and discussion points on the future direction of health care management and therapies;
  • Each chapter contains helpful summary tables and is thoroughly referenced, providing further direction for readers on that topic.

This book will be of interest to health care workers, specialist clinicians, public health practitioners, and health policy makers with an interest in cardiac health care in developing nations.

Professor Karen Sliwa from the Hatter Institute of Cardiovascular Research in Africa discusses ‘Heart of Africa: Succeeding against the odds’ in this latest publication.

Simon Stewart, Karen Sliwa, Ana Mocumbi, Albertino Damasceno and Mpiko Ntsekhe have received praise from PASCAR President Professor Bongoni Mayosifor for the launch of ‘The Heart of Africa’ .
PASCAR letter from the President 2016 11 01 – Heart of Africa Book



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