Trends in Modifiable Risk Factors are Associated With Declining Incidence of Hospitalized and Non-Hospitalized Acute Coronary Heart Disease in a Population
Background—Few studies have used individual person data to study whether contemporary trends in the incidence of coronary heart disease are associated with changes in modifiable coronary risk factors.
Methods and Results—We identified 29,582 healthy men and women 25 years and older who participated in three population surveys conducted between 1994 and 2008 in Tromsø, Norway. Age-and sex adjusted incidence rates were calculated for coronary heart disease overall, out-of-hospital sudden death, and hospitalized ST-elevation and non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction. We measured coronary risk factors at each survey and estimated the relationship between changes in risk factors and changes in incidence trends. A total of 1845 participants had an incident acute coronary heart disease event during 375,064 person-years of follow-up from 1994 to 2010. The age-and sex-adjusted incidence of total coronary heart disease decreased by 3% (95% confidence interval 2.0% to 4.0%, P<0.001) each year. This decline was driven by decreases in out-hospital sudden death and hospitalized ST-elevation myocardial infarction. Changes in coronary risk factors accounted for 66% (95% confidence interval 48 to 97, P<0.001) of the decline in total coronary heart disease. Favorable changes in cholesterol contributed 32% to the decline, whereas blood pressure, smoking, and physical activity each contributed 14%, 13%, and 9%, respectively.
Conclusions—We observed a substantial decline in the incidence of coronary heart disease which was driven by reductions in out-of-hospital sudden death and hospitalized ST-elevation myocardial infarction. Changes in modifiable coronary risk factors accounted for 66% of the decline in coronary heart disease events.
- Received April 11, 2015.
- Revision received September 22, 2015.
- Accepted October 8, 2015.