Chronic diseases are a growing cause of death and disability in South Africa. The pattern of chronic disease is changing as the determinants and risk factors for chronic diseases develop in this society in transition – a process dubbed ‘the epidemiological transition’ by Omran.1This epidemiological transition, therefore, is predicated upon demographic and nutritional transitions as socioeconomic development and increasing globalisation alter the patterns of chronic diseases in South Africa. Though the classical risk factors for chronic diseases seem to operate in much the same way in all South African races as they do in high income countries, their manifestations diff er somewhat. For example, stroke supervenes at a younger age and haemorrhagic stroke is more common than thrombotic stroke.
View the complete Chronic Diseases of Lifestyle in South Africa: 1995 - 2005 report