Cardiovascular Diseases in Croatia and Other Transitional Countries: Comparative Study of Publications, Clinical Interventions, and Burden of Disease

Lukenda, Josip; Kolarić, Branko; Kolčić, Ivana; Pažur, Vedran; Biloglav, Zrinka
December 2005
Croatian Medical Journal;2005, Vol. 46 Issue 6, p865
Academic Journal
Aim To determine the number of publications on cardiovascular diseases in the MEDLINE database, the rate of medical doctors and clinical interventions in cardiology, and health and socioeconomic indicators for Croatia, and to compare them with those for Slovenia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Austria. Methods PubMed was used in search for publications on cardiovascular diseases published in 1991-2004. Rates per million population and proportions of publications on cardiovascular diseases in the MEDLINE database were calculated. Gross domestic product (GDP) per capita was used as a socioeconomic indicator, whereas human resources in medicine were presented as the rate of medical doctors per million population. Standardized death rates from cardiovascular diseases and ischemic heart disease were used as indicators of cardiovascular health. Clinical interventions in cardiology, such as coronary angiograms, percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasties (PTCA), and coronary bypass surgeries (CABG) were expressed per million population per year. Results Croatia had the lowest GDP per capita among the analyzed countries. The standardized death rate from cardiovascular diseases in Croatia was 91.7 per 100,000 population aged 0-64 in 2001, which was higher than that in Slovenia and Austria (P<0.001), similar to that in the Czech Republic, and lower than that in Hungary (P<0.001). Cardiovascular scientific output in Croatia was the lowest among investigated countries, ie, 1.1 per million population in 2003 (P<0.001). Despite a significantly lower number of medical doctors in comparison with Hungary and the Czech Republic (P<0.001), Croatia experienced a similar increment in the amount of clinical interventions in cardiology. Conclusion In contrast to high cardiovascular mortality rates, cardiovascular scientific production in Croatia was significantly lower than in other investigated countries. A positive trend in cardiovascular medicine was recorded in clinical practice, but has yet to be followed by scientific production.


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