Heart Disease Mortality Flattening in Young Adults

Mortality decline rates leveling off in Scottish subjects 35 to 54; trend is related to inequality

WEDNESDAY, July 15 (HealthDay News) -- Although overall age-adjusted coronary heart disease mortality has significantly decreased in Scotland since 1986, the rate of decline in younger adults appears to be flattening, primarily because of social inequality, according to a study published online July 14 in BMJ.

Martin O'Flaherty, M.D., of the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom, and colleagues studied 1986 to 2006 trends in mortality from coronary heart disease in Scotland according to age and deprivation.

Between 1986 and 2006, the researchers found that overall age-adjusted coronary heart disease mortality rates decreased by 61 percent in men and 56 percent in women. However, they found that rates flattened among adults ages 35 to 44 in 1994 and also among adults ages 45 to 54 around 2003, and observed that this flattening effect exclusively occurred in the lowest two quintiles of deprivation.

"Marked deterioration in medical management of coronary heart disease seems implausible," the authors conclude. "Unfavorable trends in the major risk factors for coronary heart disease (smoking and poor diet) thus provide the most likely explanation for these apparent inequalities."

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