Cardiovascular diseases in Tanzania: The burden of modifiable and intermediate risk factors
Tanzania, like other developing countries, is facing a higher burden of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). The country is experiencing rapid growth of modifiable and intermediate risk factors that accelerate CVD mortality and morbidity rates. In rural and urban settings, cardiovascular risk factors such as tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption, unhealthy diet, hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, overweight, and obesity, are documented to be higher in this review. Increased urbanization, lifestyle changes, lack of awareness and rural to urban movement have been found to increase CVD risk factors in Tanzania. Despite the identification of modifiable risk factors for CVDs, there is still limited information on physical inactivity and eating habits among Tanzanian population that needs to be addressed. Conclusively, primary prevention, improved healthcare system, which include affordable health services, availability of trained health care providers, improved screening and diagnostic equipment, adequate guidelines, and essential drugs for CVDs are the key actions that need to be implemented for cost effective control and management of CVDs. Effective policy for control and management of CVDs should also properly be employed to ensure fruitful implementation of different interventions.