The agency has estimated that in 2030, the number of deaths due to cardiovascular disease will increase to 23.3 million. Despite these glooming statistics, new research found that specifically for coronary heart disease, the number of cases have more than halved within countries of the European Union (EU) since the early 1980s. According to researchers from the United Kingdom, the majority of the countries in the EU have experienced a steady decline in the number of deaths resulting from coronary heart disease in both men and women. In this study, researchers from the internet British Heart Foundation Health Promotion online Research Group at the University of Oxford reviewed the statistics for deaths related to coronary heart disease from 1980 to 2009 in both sexes.
When the researchers looked at death rates by age group, they found little evidence of a consistent pattern of plateauing. Absolute coronary heart disease mortality rates among young adults are low compared with older age groups, the researchers noted. But in percentage terms, coronary heart disease mortality rates in those younger than 45 decreased between 1980 and 2009 as fast or faster than for all ages combined in 22 of 26 countries for men and around half of the countries for women, they found. Among the under-45 group, downward trends appeared to be slowing in both sexes in Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, and the U.K., as well as among men in Poland and Slovakia, and among women in the Czech Republic and France. But in those 45 through 54, the researchers reported, decreases appeared to be slowing in both sexes in Latvia and the U.K., in women in Lithuania, and in men in Sweden, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. In Greece, women 45 through 54 showed a significant increase in death rates, they found. “In a small number of countries, there is some evidence that the decreasing trends may be slowing, including among younger age groups,” Nichols said.