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Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is currently experiencing multiple burden of disease as a result of demographic and epidemiologic transition. This is occasioned rapid urbanization, unhealthy diets rich in fats and salt, western lifestyle and sedentary living. Heart failure (HF) has become a global public health issue. It is associated with high morbidity and mortality, frequent hospitalization and high economic cost. In SSA, HF is a disease of young and middle-aged adults with the attendant high disability-adjusted life years. This is unlike to the clinical profile and pattern of HF in high-income countries of North America, Western Europe and Japan where HF is a disease of the elderly. In addition, while ischaemic heart disease is the commonest aetiologic risk factor for HF in high income countries, HF in SSA is essentially non-ischaemic in origin. Hypertensive heart failure, dilated cardiomyopathy, rheumatic heart disease, pericardial diseases and HIV associated cardiomyopathy are the common risk factors. The chapter reviews the contemporary information on HF in SSA in terms of socio-demographic features, clinical characteristics, aetiological risk factors, management, prognosis and economic burden.


Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

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Open Access Book Chapter

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Open Access

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.