Coronary heart disease (CHD) is when your coronary arteries (the arteries that supply your heart muscle with oxygen-rich blood) become narrowed by a gradual build-up of fatty material within their walls called atheroma’s which can lead to other health problems such as heart attacks and aneurysms etc. This is a non-communicable disease. Human immunodeficiency virus infection (HIV) / acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDs) is an infectious disease of the human immune system that is caught by unprotected sex, blood transfusions and intravenous drug use. AIDs disables the immune system, so the person with AIDs is more susceptible to other infections.
CHD is responsible for 10% of DALYs lost in low to middle income countries, and 18% in higher income countries, however it is decreasing in high income countries due to policies to reduce risk factors such as the UK’s policy to reduce smoking using advertising bans etc., and education about health. CHD is increasing in many developing countries due to increased longevity, urbanisation and lifestyle changes. Since 1990, more people around the world have died from CHD than from any other causes, and its disease burden is projected to rise from around 47 million DALYs globally in 1990 to 82 million DALYs in 2020. Although CHD is the leading cause of death in many developed countries, (e.g. in the UK CHD is responsible for 94000 deaths each year), 60% of the total burden of CHD occurs in developing countries, and the highest death rates from CHD come from emerging countries such as India (1 531 534 deaths in 2002) and China (702 925 in 2002) By 2006, it was estimated that over 39 million people worldwide were living with HIV/AIDS. The United Nations (UN) has estimated that by 2020, 70 million people in the world will have died from AIDS. It appears to be particularly prevalent in Sub-Saharan Africa, the least developed region of the world, with high poverty rates which enabled the disease to spread rapidly due to poor sexual health education and unprotected sex etc. This region has more than 60% of its population living with HIV/AIDs. Other regions such as Russia are badly affected by HIV aids, possibly due to high rates of intravenous drug use. It appears that areas such as the USA, Spain and Italy have fairly high HIV prevalence rates, but these are countries with advanced health care, so treatment for HIV (ARVs) are easily available so people with the disease live longer, causing a high prevalence rate in these countries.
Regions such as North East Africa and the Middle East have the lowest HIV prevalence rates, explained by their conservative Islamic nature, however this contrasts with CHD in that these regions contain some countries which are some of the worst affected in the world by CHD, such as Egypt and Afghanistan in which 30+ DALYs were lost in 2002 per 1000 of the population. Another contrast between the diseases is that the worst HIV/AIDs affected region, Sub-Saharan Africa, is one of the lowest affected regions from CHD e.g. Namibia has between 3400-7100 deaths from AIDs each year, but has less than 1000 deaths each year from CHD.
There appears to be similarities between the two diseases when looking at gender, as HIV/AIDs is more prevalent in males (7.4% disease burden) than in females (7.2% disease burden) and CHD is also more prevalent in males (6.8% disease burden) than in females (5.3% disease burden). However, the difference between genders is much bigger for CHD than HIV/AIDS. Another similarity between the two diseases is that deaths from them occur more in people aged over 60 than in people aged 15-60, however in contrast, people aged 60+ die more frequently from CHD than from HIV/AIDS, and people aged 15-60 are more likely to die from HIV/AIDs than CHD.
CHD has many health impacts, such as increased risk of heart attacks, chest pains, swelling of the abdomen,