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CVD Mortality Declines, But Less So for Women and Elderly

Minimal cut in cardiovascular disease deaths also seen for those with non-coronary heart diseases

MONDAY, May 8 (HealthDay News) -- Cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality has declined over the past 25 years, but the rate of decline is less pronounced among women, the elderly and those with non-coronary heart diseases, according to a study in the May 9 issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Yariv Gerber, Ph.D., of the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues analyzed CVD mortality trends among 6,378 residents of Olmsted County, Minn., from 1979 to 2003. They used the American Heart Association categories of CVD, including coronary heart disease (CHD), non-CHD diseases of the heart, and non-cardiac circulatory diseases. They also analyzed data on demographics, cause and location of death.

Although the overall annual mortality rate has declined, this was less so in the case of out-of-hospital deaths versus in-hospital deaths (1.8 percent versus 4.8 percent). The annual decline among persons aged 85 or older was only 1.5 percent compared with 3.9 percent for those aged 74 years and younger. Mortality rates for women declined by 2.5 percent a year versus 3.3 percent for men. Although CHD deaths declined by 3.3. percent a year, deaths due to non-CHD diseases of the heart fell by only 2.1 percent and for non-cardiac circulatory diseases the decline was only 2.4 percent.

"Further reduction in CVD mortality will require strategies directed at elderly persons and women, in whom out-of-hospital rates have improved only minimally," the authors conclude.

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