Marked decline of coronary heart disease mortality in 35-44-year-old white men in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.
Trends in coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality were examined among 35-44-year-old white men during 1970-1986. Death certificates were obtained for 1,216 cases. All were coroner-certified natural deaths and noncoroner-certified deaths due to vascular diseases and diabetes mellitus. Autopsy data, coroner's reports, hospital records, physician's reports, and informants were used to validate diagnoses. The reviewers rejected 73 of 805 CHD certifications, but they validated 54 cases not certified as CHD on the death certificate as CHD. The CHD mortality rate fell from 90.6/100,000/year in 1970-1972 to 40.3/100,000/year in 1985-1986. Approximately two thirds of the decline was related to a decline in sudden deaths including 41.6% due to incident sudden CHD death. The proportion of diabetics among validated CHD deaths rose dramatically from 6.5% in 1970-1972 to 23.0% in 1985-1986. The CHD mortality rate among diabetics apparently did not decline during the 17 years of the study. We conclude that primary prevention has contributed substantially to the CHD decline in the 35-44-year age group. Better diagnoses and treatment, especially of angina pectoris and of patients after a myocardial infarction, may also have been important. Control of CHD in diabetics must take high priority in further prevention strategies.
- Copyright © 1989 by American Heart Association