New research suggests there has been a “significant slowdown” in the rate of decline of cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality in a number of high-income countries, with researchers warning factors including increasing obesity levels could jeopardise further CVD mortality declines in many countries.
Researchers in Australia analysed trends in CVD mortality in 23 high-income countries since the year 2000 using data from the World Health Organization Mortality Database and national statistics.
They found the rate of decline in CVD mortality has slowed “dramatically” in most countries in recent years for both males and females, particularly at ages 35-74 years. Based on the latest data, the decline in the CVD mortality rate at ages 35-74 years was less than 2 per cent, about half the annual average since 2000, for at least one sex in more than half the countries. In North America, the CVD mortality rate even increased in the most recent year for US males and females and Canadian females.
Presenting the findings in the International Journal of Epidemiology, the authors said, “a resumption of CVD-mortality declines will require concerted and strategic efforts to reduce population exposure to risk factors even further, particularly obesity, as well as improvements in population access to high-quality treatment and care.”