Preventing cardiovascular disease in rural South Africa

Project title
Preventing cardiovascular disease in rural South Africa: an epidemiological modelling and economic evaluation study

Research question
What is the present burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD) particularly stroke in rural South Africa, and what are the costs, and health effects of alternative prevention approaches to address this CVD burden?

Risk factors for cardiovascular disease have increased at an alarming rate in rural South Africa and information on context-specific cost-effective interventions is urgently needed to prevent a cardiovascular disease epidemic. In 2009, stroke was the second leading cause of mortality in South Africa, after HIV/AIDS. Whilst clinical trials often offer the best evidence of effectiveness of clinical interventions, the follow-up period is often inadequate to measure all costs and benefits relevant to preventive interventions where there are lifetime costs and consequences. With these long follow-up periods and extensive data requirements, undertaking cost-effectiveness trials may be prohibitively expensive, and cannot inform current health policy in a timely manner.  As an alternative to health economic clinical trials, mathematical models that can predict the costs and benefits of an intervention by combining information, often from disparate sources, on disease epidemiology, effectiveness and costs have become critical.

Research output
Maredza et al. BMC Neurology (2015) 15:54 Disease burden of stroke in rural South Africa: an estimate of incidence, mortality and disability adjusted life years

Prof. Stephen Tollman; Dr. Melanie Bertram; Dr. Jane Goudge