Located in Southwestern Asia – just between Russia and Turkey – lies the sovereign nation of Georgia, a former member of the Soviet Union. With a size hardly larger than the U.S. state of West Virginia, Georgia’s population teeters just above 4.9 million. Here are the most common diseases in Georgia:
Ischemic Heart Disease
A condition characterized by narrowed heart arteries which reduce blood flow to the heart, ischemic heart disease can ultimately result in untimely heart attack. Also known as coronary artery disease, ischemic heart disease was assessed to be the most fatal of the common diseases in Georgia in 2005. By 2015, it was still the most fatal, and the prevalence of deaths by the disease had actually increased by 1.4 percent.
Cerebrovascular disease refers to disorders affecting blood flow to the brain. Such disorders often result in aneurysms, carotid stenosis, intracranial stenosis, vertebral stenosis, stroke and vascular malformations. In 2015, cerebrovascular disease was the second most fatal common disease in Georgia, and had been for the past decade. However, the disease had fortunately decreased in prevalence by 0.9 percent within those 10 years.
Hypertensive Heart Disease
Hypertensive heart disease is a disease of the heart that results from elevated blood pressure. In Georgia, hypertensive heart disease was the third most fatal disease in 2015. This is a drastic change from 2005, when it was only the fifth most common cause of death. The decade unfortunately saw a staggering 145.6 percent increase in prevalence of the disease.
As heart disease has been a consistently growing problem in the country, the Georgia Department of Public Health has decided to participate in the national public health initiative called Million Hearts. The organization’s primary goal is to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes.
Through partnerships with community organizations, local health departments and hospitals, the Georgia Department of Public Health is addressing heart disease and aiming to reach ambitious goals for improvement. If the Department of Public Health addresses ischemic heart disease and cerebrovascular disease as well, surely these common diseases can also begin to see improvement in Georgia.
– Shannon Golden