Declines in Heart Disease Death in Young Adults Slowing

Rate of decline of the disease appears to be leveling off in British adults aged 35 to 54 years

FRIDAY, July 20 (HealthDay News) -- Although the overall mortality rate from coronary heart disease has been falling in Britain since 1984, it appears to be leveling off in adults 35-54 years old, according to a study published online July 19 in the journal Heart.

Martin O'Flaherty, M.D., from the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom, and colleagues calculated age-specific mortality rates from coronary heart disease for British adults 35 years or older using data from 1984-2004.

The researchers found that the overall mortality rate fell by 54.7 percent in men and 48.3 percent in women. However, from 2000-2004, the mortality rate was essentially flat for men 35-44 years old though it appeared to continue declining for women in this age group. The fall in mortality rates appeared to be leveling off in both men and women 45-54 years old. Mortality continued to decline steadily for older adults, the report indicates.

"The flattening mortality rates for coronary heart disease among younger adults may represent a sentinel event," O'Flaherty and colleagues conclude, adding that "unfavorable trends in risk factors for coronary heart disease, specifically obesity and diabetes, provide the most likely explanation for the observed trends."

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