Cardiovascular diseases and diabetes mellitus in Fiji: Analysis of mortality, morbidity and risk factors

J. Tuomilehto, P. Ram, R. Eseroma, R. Taylor, P. Zimmet

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Mortality and hospital admissions due to cardiovascular diseases and diabetes mellitus have been increasing in Fiji steadily over the past 20 years. These diseases were present more frequently in the Indian than the Melanesian population of Fiji, but recently the steepest rise in prevalence rates occurred among the Melanesian population. The underlying conditions that contributed most to increasing mortality and morbidity were hypertension and diabetes mellitus. In 1978, proportional mortality from diabetes mellitus was 6.0% (9.0% in persons aged ≥ 40 years), and that from cardiovascular disease was 30.3% (39% in those aged ≥ 40 years). Ischaemic heart disease was the main cause of mortality and morbidity among he Indian population. This analysis of mortality and morbidity data is supported by the findings of a population survey, which showed that the prevalence rates of diabetes and hypertension in 1980 among urban Melanesians were similar to those among Indians. Urbanization and a modern life-style seem to play an important role in determining the disease pattern in Fiji, which is following the patterns in many industrial countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-143
Number of pages11
JournalBulletin of the World Health Organization
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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