Modelling Future Cardiovascular Disease Mortality in the United States: National Trends and Racial and Ethnic Disparities
Background—Accurate forecasting of cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality is crucial to guide policy and programming efforts. Prior forecasts have often not incorporated past trends in rates of reduction in CVD mortality. This creates uncertainties about future trends in CVD mortality and disparities.
Methods and Results—To forecast US CVD mortality and disparities to 2030, we developed a hierarchical Bayesian model to determine and incorporate prior age, period and cohort (APC) effects from 1979-2012, stratified by age, gender and race; which we combined with expected demographic shifts to 2030. Data sources included the National Vital Statistics System, SEER single year population estimates, and US Bureau of Statistics 2012 National Population projections. We projected coronary disease and stroke deaths to 2030, first based on constant APC effects at 2012 values, as most commonly done (conventional); and then using more rigorous projections incorporating expected trends in APC effects (trend-based). We primarily evaluated absolute mortality. The conventional model projected total coronary and stroke deaths by 2030 to increase by approximately 18% (67,000 additional coronary deaths/year) and 50% (64,000 additional stroke deaths/year). Conversely, the trend-based model projected that coronary mortality would fall by 2030 by approximately 27% (79,000 fewer deaths/year); and stroke mortality would remain unchanged (200 fewer deaths/year). Health disparities will be improved in stroke deaths, but not coronary deaths.
Conclusions—After accounting for prior mortality trends and expected demographic shifts, total US coronary deaths are expected to decline, while stroke mortality will remain relatively constant. Health disparities in stroke, but not coronary, deaths will be improved but not eliminated. These APC approaches offer more plausible predictions than conventional estimates.
- Received October 13, 2015.
- Revision received January 4, 2016.
- Accepted January 22, 2016.