open access

Vol 63, No 1 (2012)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Submitted: 2013-02-18
Published online: 2012-06-05
Get Citation

Cardiomegaly in tropical Africa

Ryszard Tomaszewski
International Maritime Health 2012;63(1):56-58.

open access

Vol 63, No 1 (2012)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Submitted: 2013-02-18
Published online: 2012-06-05

Abstract

The term cardiomegaly is found in 5–7% of chest X-ray film evaluations in tropical Africa. However, cardiomegaly is a descriptive term, devoid of any aetiological meaning. Therefore, providing information about the aetiological factors leading to heart enlargement in a group of Africans (Nigerians) was the purpose of this study. In the years 2002–2011, 170 subjects (aged 17–80 years, mean age 42 years) in whom cardiomegaly was revealed by chest radiographs were studied at the Madonna University Teaching Hospital, Elele. The patients underwent echocardiography, electrocardiography, and several appropriate laboratory tests. Arterial hypertension was found to be most frequently associated with heart enlargement (39.4%), followed by dilated cardiomyopathy (21.76%), endomyocardial fibrosis (14.1%), valvular defects (9.4%), cardiac enlargement in the course of sickle-cell anaemia (6.47%), and schistosomal cor pulmonale (3.52%). This study is a contribution to a better aetiological elucidation of cardiomegaly in the tropics and emphasizes the importance of arterial hypertension as one of its causative factors. The dire need for effective treatment of hypertensive patients becomes evident. A high prevalence of elevated blood pressure seems to reflect an impact of civilization-related factors on the African communities.

Abstract

The term cardiomegaly is found in 5–7% of chest X-ray film evaluations in tropical Africa. However, cardiomegaly is a descriptive term, devoid of any aetiological meaning. Therefore, providing information about the aetiological factors leading to heart enlargement in a group of Africans (Nigerians) was the purpose of this study. In the years 2002–2011, 170 subjects (aged 17–80 years, mean age 42 years) in whom cardiomegaly was revealed by chest radiographs were studied at the Madonna University Teaching Hospital, Elele. The patients underwent echocardiography, electrocardiography, and several appropriate laboratory tests. Arterial hypertension was found to be most frequently associated with heart enlargement (39.4%), followed by dilated cardiomyopathy (21.76%), endomyocardial fibrosis (14.1%), valvular defects (9.4%), cardiac enlargement in the course of sickle-cell anaemia (6.47%), and schistosomal cor pulmonale (3.52%). This study is a contribution to a better aetiological elucidation of cardiomegaly in the tropics and emphasizes the importance of arterial hypertension as one of its causative factors. The dire need for effective treatment of hypertensive patients becomes evident. A high prevalence of elevated blood pressure seems to reflect an impact of civilization-related factors on the African communities.
Get Citation

Keywords

cardiomegaly; heart enlargement; tropical cardiology

About this article
Title

Cardiomegaly in tropical Africa

Journal

International Maritime Health

Issue

Vol 63, No 1 (2012)

Pages

56-58

Published online

2012-06-05

Bibliographic record

International Maritime Health 2012;63(1):56-58.

Keywords

cardiomegaly
heart enlargement
tropical cardiology

Authors

Ryszard Tomaszewski

Regulations

Important: This website uses cookies. More >>

The cookies allow us to identify your computer and find out details about your last visit. They remembering whether you've visited the site before, so that you remain logged in - or to help us work out how many new website visitors we get each month. Most internet browsers accept cookies automatically, but you can change the settings of your browser to erase cookies or prevent automatic acceptance if you prefer.

By "Via Medica sp. z o.o." sp.k., ul. Świętokrzyska 73, 80–180 Gdańsk

tel.:+48 58 320 94 94, faks:+48 58 320 94 60, e-mail:  viamedica@viamedica.pl