Risk of cardiovascular disease high in less affluent areas, says the HPA
People in New Taipei City, Taitung County and Hualien County have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease than those in other regions because they tend to smoke and drink heavily and lack exercise, the Health Promotion Administration (HPA) said Friday.
In 2002, the standardized death rate for people 30-70 years old as a result of vascular disease -including cardiovascular disease and diabetes -- was 115.9 per 100,000 population. The figure dropped by 23 percent to 89.2 in 2013. Taitung County and Hsinchu City, which saw their death rates fall by 10 percent and 12 percent, respectively, were the areas with the smallest decrease.
According to the HPA, such health inequality due to the urbanrural gap is also reflected in the risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
In the rankings for such risk factors, New Taipei City, Taitung County and Hualien County had the highest scores, the HPA said.
HPA Director-General Chiu Shuti said the situation is related to the low socioeconomic status of local residents and their lack of resources.
In New Taipei, which got a score of 14, people smoke and drink too much and lack exercise, Chiu said.
In Taitung and Hualien, people not only need exercise, but also need to smoke and drink less and lose weight, she said.
The HPA uses smoking, obesity, lack of exercise, and alcohol consumption as the four main risk factors for cardiovascular disease. In each category, there is a score of 1-4, with 4 indicating the highest risk.